The letter “A” is for “Ant”
Ants are a member of the same order of insects classified as “Hymenoptera”, a large order including wasps and bees. There are over 12,000 species of ants all over the world.
Ants live in colonies, with an average-sized colony containing thousands of individual ants made up of the queen, female worker ants, and males, each with a specific job to do. Some colonies also have soldier ants who defend the colony and venture out to gather food for the others.
Did you know . . . .
- An ant can lift twenty times its own body weight. If you were an ant, you could pick up an automobile!
- Ants do not have ears. They “hear” by feeling vibrations in the ground through their feet.
- Ants also do not have lungs. They breathe as oxygen enters through tiny holes all over their bodies. Carbon dioxide leaves their bodies through the same holes.
- According to the National Wildlife Federation, ants can be found nearly everywhere on Earth, except Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland, and some island nations. (Do think it odd that there are no ANTS in ANTarctica? Although it is rather cold and frozen in Antarctica, making the digging of tunnels extra hard work for ants, I would think. So maybe that’s why. That, and it would likely be much more challenging to get their work done wearing a six-legged parka.)
Ants are very beneficial to the world because they are among the leading predators of other insects, helping to lower pest populations. As they feed on organic waste, insects, and other dead animals, they help protect the environment by keeping it clean.
Ants also aerate the soil as they dig their tunnels, which in turn carry water, oxygen, and nutrients to plant roots, which is very beneficial to gardeners, forests, and nature. Ants are an important part of the environment and ecosystems.
Would you like to color an ant? Simply ‘Right Click’ on an image, hit ‘Save Image As’ to save a local copy, and then print out as many as you want!
BONUS — The letter “A” is for Alligator, too! (Careful — they bite!) Alligators are reptiles and have been living on Earth for millions of years, so they are sometimes described as ‘living fossils’.
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