How Do Ants Get Oxygen?
Unlike humans, ants do not have a respiratory system that can carry oxygen through the entire body. They rely on a system of tubes that bring air into the body and transport it to the various organs. They also have a system of air sacs that can store oxygen.
Ants breathe through spiracles, which are small holes on their bodies. They are connected to a fine tube called the trachea. Air enters the ant’s body through the spiracles, and is then carried through the trachea. Some ants have as many as nine or ten pairs of spiracles. They are arranged laterally on the body, and have valves that open and close.
They can also breathe underwater. Some species can survive submersion for up to fourteen days. They can also survive flooding of their nests. They are not suffocated by water, but they can suffocate if the spiracles become blocked.
Ants can also survive in harsh conditions with intermittent gas exchange. They have a tracheal system that transports oxygen and carbon dioxide around the body. This system is a network of tiny tubes that carry air from the ant’s cells to the internal organs. The tracheae do not require blood circulation, so they can circulate oxygen and carbon dioxide throughout the ant’s body.
Ants also have a second stomach that holds food for sharing. They can also survive in plastic bags. Some ants can hold their breath underwater for long periods of time.