Why Are Ants Important?

Despite their annoying appearance, ants are an important part of the natural world. They have the ability to eat a wide variety of insects and small animals, clean up the dead, and even help propagate plants.

Many ants have the ability to detect chemicals in the soil. This is why some farmers use ants as an alternative to chemical pesticides.

Another ant-related skill is using their antennae to detect food sources. These insects are capable of detecting sweet foods, dead things, and even openings in walls or drains.

They also use their antennae to communicate with each other. Ants can use sound to communicate, but they also use touch. Aside from their antennae, they also have external teeth.

Ants also help to transport seeds from one habitat to another. This process is known as myrmecochory. Especially in dry environments, this is a useful technique. The seeds that are carried are less likely to die from drought.

Some species of ants are even capable of laying eggs. In the case of the Cataglyphis cursor, the queen lays eggs with clones of herself. The offspring are called parthenogenesis.

Some ants have the ability to swarm. They can gather together into a mass of millions. They can also build underground nests. These nests are often ball-shaped and made from larval silk.

Ants are also good at cleaning up debris. Some ants even take apart dead lizards. They are also known to help reduce soil compaction.