Ants GIFs Cliparts
Ants are eusocial insects of the family Formicidae and, along with the related wasps and bees, belong to the order Hymenoptera. Ants appear in the fossil record across the globe in considerable diversity during the latest Early Cretaceous and early Late Cretaceous, suggesting an earlier origin. Ants evolved from vespoid wasp ancestors in the Cretaceous period, and diversified after the rise of flowering plants. More than 13, 800 of an estimated total of 22, 000 species have been classified. They are easily identified by their geniculate (elbowed) antennae and the distinctive node-like structure that forms their slender waists. Ants form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organised colonies that may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals. Larger colonies consist of various castes of sterile, wingless females, most of which are workers (ergates), as well as soldiers (dinergates) and other specialised groups. Nearly all ant colonies also have some fertile males called 'drones' and one or more fertile females called 'queens' (gynes). The colonies are described as superorganisms because the ants appear to operate as a unified entity, collectively working together to support the colony. Ants have colonised almost every landmass on Earth.
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