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Suppose you are sitting somewhere eating sweets. A small part of the sweet has fallen on the floor without your knowledge. After a while he noticed that a group of ants was standing in line to take the piece of sweet. As a child, many of us may have heard that ants have big noses. That's why they get the smell of food earlier. Although they get the smell of food with the help of their antennae. Once an ant carries food, a chemical is sprayed on it so that other ants can follow it.
Many of us may have read in the ‘Cosmic Curator’ of the high school Bangla book that “ants can cultivate like humans”. But I did not understand. We may not know many interesting things about ants. Let's talk about ants today.
Ants are a very small part of the universe, a small animal. The ant is one of the smallest animals created by the Creator. Even after that, there is no time to look down on it. Even knowing everything about ants, their means of communication, their means of survival, and even their selfless sacrifice for each other, will probably evoke a special respect for them.
The idea is that ants have existed on this earth since before the time of the dinosaurs. Silent ants have ruled the earth's surface for about 110 million years. There are more than 10,000 trillion ants living in the world. More than 22,000 species of ants have been found so far, and there are probably many more species of ants than this.
The most interesting thing is that these ants survive by forming a colony together and helping each other. Colony of ants! Isn't that weird? Strange as it may sound, they live in a kind of colony all their lives. Not only that, they help each other and sacrifice themselves in need for the rest of the ants in the colony. It is said that this mentality and practice of helping is one of the reasons why these little creatures have not disappeared from the earth even after so many years.
So let's know a little bit about some of the most busy ant species out of these thousands of species of ants.
This species always moves in groups in search of food and attacks in groups when needed. The funny thing is that they are called 'army ants'. Although the ants of this species have poor eyesight, they use their antennas to pick up food and the surrounding odor. They even communicate with each other and find their prey with the help of their antennas.
When worker ants go out in search of food, they attack any insects that are bigger than them, cut them into pieces and take them back to their habitat. Since more than two lakh ants come out together, even if the prey that is in front of them is bigger than them, they can injure it.
This group of ants can cut a 2-inch-long spider into pieces and take them to their habitat in just ten minutes. They don't even leave a trace of anything in the place where they attacked the spider.
When taking a fragmented prey home, they can follow the scent of a chemical released by a path. What's more interesting is that army ants line up in huge long lines to ensure their safety from other insects or ants on either side. And in the middle the ants come and go to take the cut pieces of the prey.
To many, it may seem that ants carry other insects to their habitats and eat them. But no! The pieces that the ants carry to their habitat they give to the relatively small worker ants there. Those who crush those pieces secrete a kind of juice from them. Oh yes! I forgot to mention that in the colony of ants there are queen ants whose orders everyone obeys. The juice secreted from the pieces is fed to the queen ants, the larvae and all the other ants in the colony.
These ants live in one place for a very short time. When they stop hunting in one place and find no food, they move on to another. Usually they start going elsewhere at night. They proceeded in huge long lines. Here too the army ants keep watch on both sides so that no danger of any kind comes. And some ants spray chemicals to see if there is any danger ahead or if they are livable. Meanwhile, the other ants carry the queen ant, her eggs and larvae on their backs.
Many of us may have seen the movie ‘A Bug’s Life’. There one species of ants is shown collecting grain. In real life, one species of ant is a little different, but it does the same thing. Which is to collect by cutting the leaves. Ants of this species are called ‘leaf-cutting ants’ when they are seen cutting off leaves with their sharp teeth and taking them to their habitat. They are also called 'fungus farmers' as they cultivate fungus like a frog's umbrella from that leaf.
These ants are very busy and run around. Some ants cut leaves with sharp teeth in their antlers. The part called mandible vibrates more than a thousand times a second, which is why they can easily cut the hard leaves of many large trees.
The rest of the ants rush to the habitat with the cut leaves. At this time small ants sit on the leaves and guard so that flies or other things do not come and sit on the leaves. Since the ants of this species have to travel long distances to cut the leaves, it takes a few hours for the ants to leave the habitat and return to the leaf cutting area.
When they go to the habitat, they give the cut leaves to other ants who take them to their habitat under the ground and make fertilizer from them. This fertilizer helps to grow a kind of fungus. These fungi are eaten by ants.
In order for fungus to grow under the soil, ants make the cut parts of the leaves like a kind of pulp. The carcasses are carefully covered with a substance secreted by the ants. The ants then use them as fertilizer to plant the fungus on it and cultivate it. This fungus is fed to everyone in the colony, starting from the queen ants.
The ants of this species make their habitat with a large space under the ground. They leave a lot of entrances to get in and out of the habitat. They built hundreds of rooms in the habitat to cultivate fungus in them. Among them, even the smallest ants act like maids. They do all the work of cleaning the eggs and feeding the larvae.
The large ants of this species guard to protect the rest from spiders and other enemy ants, and they bite and kill anyone who enters their habitat.
The job of many of these ants is to get rid of old fungus and garbage. They either bury the debris under their habitat or lift it up to form large piles.
The funny thing is that none of the rest of the ants go to these ants that keep the dirt, garbage removed. It may seem that ants have the same attitude as humans, big or small? But that is not the real reason. There is a logical explanation for this. If the ants go to the ants that have removed the dirt, they may be infected with a germ or a disease. As a result, the germs can get into the leaves or the fungus. And if that happened then everyone in the colony would die of starvation. That is why they maintain this distance for the sake of everyone's interest.
Most likely you have all seen this ant species. When you suddenly have to jump after being bitten by an ant, you can see this species of ant when you look down. The last part of the abdomen is much darker than the whole body of this species of ant. Ants of this species are found all over the world. Ants of this species have a habit of getting very angry if they step on their line in their habitat or on the way or if their normal life is disturbed in any way. Many know them as 'Red Fire Ants'.
Each of these species of ants has a venomous sting that they use to attack someone. During the attack, they trap the prey with their mandibles, bend their backs like a bow and pour poison from their stings. Then they lean on the top of the head in a circular motion and pour poison. Their venom can kill any small animal and even cause severe inflammation in the human body. Many may even have allergies to this toxin. If so, it is not uncommon for life and death problems to arise. That's why be very careful of these ants!
It is normal for ants of this species to be found to be a nuisance. Because they destroy the crop and cause pain even with bites. But one thing to note is that they are a very successful species because they are very well controlled and work together. This thing is at least like learning from this little species of ours.
Ants of this species secrete fluids from almost everything from small animals to plants. By attacking in groups, they can kill a lizard in less than a minute.
Another interesting fact is that a colony of this species may have more than one queen ant. And because of this there are more than five lakh ants in their colony. To make room for so many ants, they dig holes about five feet below the ground and lift the soil from the bottom to about three feet high. This is a really big job for a small species of ant.