Like all insects, ants have six legs. Each leg has three joints. The legs of the ant are very strong so they can run very quickly. If a man could run as fast for his size as an ant can, he could run as fast as a racehorse. Ants can lift 20 times their own body weight. An ant brain has about 250 000 brain cells. A human brain has 10,000 million so a colony of 40,000 ants has collectively the same size brain as a human.
The average life expectancy of an ant is 45-60 days. Each colony has a Queen Ant. The job of the queen is to lay eggs which the worker ants look after. Worker ants are sterile; they look for food, look after the young, and defend the nest from unwanted visitors. Ants are clean and tidy insects. Some worker ants are given the job of taking the rubbish from the nest and putting it outside in a special rubbish dump! At night the worker ants move the eggs and larvae deep into the nest to protect them from the cold. During the daytime, the worker ants move the eggs and larvae of the colony to the top of the nest so that they can be warmer. If a worker ant has found a good source for food, it leaves a trail of scent so that the other ants in the colony can find the food. Army Ants are nomadic and they are always moving. They carry their larvae and their eggs with them in a long column.
After reading these fascinating facts about Ant’s I couldn’t help but re-read the section that spoke about what a worker ant does for the eggs and the young. At night the worker ants instinctively know to move the eggs depending on climate. But as a civilization of humans with 10,000 million brain cells, why do we have children with no food and the elderly tossed aside like yesterday’s garbage? When was it do you think that we lost our colonies? What if some ant’s decided to be their own ant, seek out their independence, and not work as a team? What would happen to the success of the colony? That’s right; it would crumble. There would be confusion, starvation, neglect of the unborn and the young and the homeless. Out of all of that chaos there would be one smart ant noticing that order would need to be re-introduced. But unfortunately this ant is the opportunist, preying on the confused and weak. This ant knew of a food source and created what it could trade for in return for shelter and obedience. Soon this new leader would have a following that would grow in large numbers, even recruiting from other sustainable colonies.
But this new way had flaws, flaws so huge that the ant’s found after time that some colonies had more food than others and better shelter. The new leader was not interested in equality or teamwork, and was only concerned about how much food and shelter it could stock pile and own. To share would only compromise the control and show weakness and compassion, how could the new leader be respected and feared if compassion was shown? Soon the colonies were so separated that friends were no longer friends and families were torn apart. Eventually there would be an uprising or strike.
The poorer ant’s that were now frail and ill, gathered together in fear of total annihilation. They devised a plan to bring back equality and peace to the colonies, but how would they do this with such little food and shelter and their bodies weak from malnourishment? They became resourceful and found ways to create food from other means than the ONE way the leader insisted on. They taught the young how to do the same and as the young grew older, they grew stronger and more capable to move larger pieces of shelter.
In time, the poor and forgotten were now their own powerhouse regaining their strength and resilience. They fed the weary and tired workers from the richer colonies and showed them a better way to create food. This allowed the workers more time with their families and young. Soon the leader noticed that the need for these extravagant foods and shelters were not what the ant’s wanted at all. The leader saw that the ants only wanted team work, more time with family and equality. Once the entire colony of ant’s realized that the leader was not the one doing any of the work yet reaped all the benefits they as a team agreed to dethrone the leaders control and title. But because the new colonies were so appreciative of what they had created they shared their NEW way with the OLD leader.
True story, just ask any ant….