Ants are common insects, but they have some unique features. Worldwide, there are more than 10,000 species of ant. They specially predominate in tropical forests, where in certain places can be up half the insect population. Their form of organization is so incredible that has served as inspiration for scientists and technologists and has been applied to many inventions.
Roles in the colonies
In their communities each ant have their own obligations. Social behavior exists within the hierarchy, there the ones who commands or maintains order and the other ones who obey.
Ant colonies are governed by one or more queens, who have the mission to lay thousands of eggs and thus, ensure the survival of the group. Worker ants are the ones we usually see, and are wingless females that do not reproduce. Instead, they spend their life collecting food, taking care of the offspring of the queen, building the nest, protecting the community and performing many other tasks. On the other hand, male ants have only one function: to mate with the queen. Once their mission is complete, they can die.
How do the colonies survive?
Ants are hyper-social beings that usually live in underground communities organized. The anthill is physically in a perpendicular passage, which has several galleries made for storage of food in its depths, and also has a kind of living rooms and dump rooms near the surface.
Colonies communicate and cooperate with chemical substances that alert other ants of any danger or conversely, the lead up to a delicious food source. They usually feed on nectar, seeds, fungi or insects.
In addition, they take advantage of any food in their environment and, if they can, they keep it for the winter. They are able to sacrifice themselves to save the colony and are always looking for the common good.
There is no doubt that ants are a great example of sacrifice and exemplary organization, and human beings have much to learn from them.