Ant colonies are complex systems built on the cooperation of individual members. When under the attack from a predator, ants work as a well coordinated "superorganism" to esnure the safety of the colony.
An entomologist recently looked at the story behind matricide among social insects, which isn't the standard but sometimes happens. It turns out that a pretty intricate plot is behind it. Stand back, MacBeth.
Ants that called Europe their home 45 to 10 million years ago were actually more similar to modern-day ants now living in South East Asia than they are to their European cousins.
The worker ant: even the name of this tiny insect calls fourth impressions of hard work and dedication, the tireless and duty-bound individual laboring for the greater good of his community. However, it turns out that this really doesn't describe your everyday worker ant. In fact, the great majority of the little buggers are actually slackers.
A recent Cornell University study examined where the worst, or more painful, place to get stung is. After enduring multiple stings throughout 25 different places on his body, graduate student Michael Smith discovered one's nose is the most sensitive.
A species of wood ants observed in the North York Moors National Park, UK, are thriving in forests where non-native trees have been planted over the past 60 years. This suggests that we could help forest-dependent species rebuild their homes.
Ants have been found to have the ability to change their diet to contain free radicals, such as hydrogen peroxide, to help fight infectious, and otherwise fatal, diseases. This is similar to humans' use of antibiotics.
Are all ants created equal? They sure look the same, and for the most part, even act the same. So how do they tell one another apart? Researchers now believe they have identified the exact mechanism that allows ants to tell friend from foe.
Even if you don't remember your grade-school biology classes, Marvel's recent Ant Man movie has reminded us that the average ant is capable of some incredible feats, including lifting anywhere between 100 and 5000 times its own body weight. However, when carrying something that's too big to see around, how do the insects find their way? New research has the answer.
It can get pretty hot in the Sahara desert, one of the hottest terrestrial environments on Earth, so to stay cool silver ants use special hairs to survive, new research shows.
Ants are pretty clever insects, with researchers recently finding that certain species can even double their survival rate using impressive jaw jumps.
Who are the best diggers around? Is it humans? Fantasy dwarves? Mole people? Nah... as far as the experts are concerned, the fire ant takes the cake. New research has revealed that one of the primary reasons these little guys are such successful invaders is that they are able to thoroughly excavate complex colonies regardless of where they decide to settle - whether it be in wet clay or coarse and difficult-to-shape sand.
Spam: it's something that every person new to email quickly learns to hate. Sure, there are filters, but something always slips through - the consequence of an ongoing war between spammers and filter designers. Now new research has proposed that the next generation of filters takes a tip from an entirely different kind of war: one that goes on beneath our feet.
"This is SPARTA!" It's a line that nearly everyone you know is likely familiar with. Now a new study has found that societies of ants in the rainforests of Malaysia should be shouting this chant as well - if ants had voices - as they regularly throw invading armies from their tall tree-side homes.
Experts have long known that, just like humans, not all ants are created equal. Even colonies of the same species may have different collective personalities depending on where their nest is. Now a new study has found that ants living in urban environments have learned to prefer junk food far more than their rural counterparts.