There are more then 10,000 species of ants and they all share the same common
traits. The traits that they share are three body sections. The body sections
are the head, thorax, and abdomen. The head contains a relatively large brain.
It also had the eyes, antennae, and the mandibles (which are shaped differently
depending on the ant). The antennae are what an ant uses to smell, touch, taste,
and detect movement. The next part of the antís body is the thorax. This part
of the body has small holes that allow ants uses to breath through. Another
opening produces a chemical that kills germs. On this body section there are six
legs and small claws that allow ants to carry up to 20 times there own weight.
The last body section is the abdomen. This section leaves trails of chemicals,
which are also made in this section, that are used to communicate. Each type of
ant leaves there own kind of chemical. The chemical tells other ants where food
is, it lets ants know that there are enemies around, it tells aunts where the
nest is, and many other things. Ants have been around since the dinosaurs.
Scientist feel that a long time ago aunts began to produce babies in large
amounts. The babies would grow up and live near by; soon the babies and their
familiesí wold come and live with the parents forming colonies. A colony is an
organized community. All ants in a colony live and work to care for the one
queens offspring. The colonies inhabitants are divided into different jobs.
There are workers who find food, nurses, the female ants, who care for the young
and the food, and there is the queen, who is the mother of the entire colony.
Once a year the male ants fly away and the female aunts, that have wings, fly
away and they mate and go off and star there own colonies.