Student Research Pages - Awesome Ants

Cover Ants - June 2011
Ant Head Closeup

Photo by Steve Jurvetson; shared via Creative Commons

Yikes, what's that tickling your arm? An ant! Wait! Before you flick it away, take a closer look at one of the hardest working insects you'll ever meet.

Like all insects, ants have six legs and three body sections. Ants also have a hard covering, much like a shell. In fact, you could say that an ant wears its skeleton on the outside.

That's why it's called an "exoskeleton."

Ant Body Parts

Ant's Body Parts

ANT-ATOMY (body parts)
  • Head
  • Mandibles – strong jaws that dig, cut, bite and carry objects
  • Eyes – compound eyes that detect motion
  • Antennae – elbowed feelers that smell, taste and touch and communicate with each other
  • Thorax – six legs attached
  • Abdomen –
ANT-ERESTING FACTS! (Interesting facts!)
Ants Work Together

Ants work together!
(Photo by Gabrielle Conley, ©2011)

  • Ants can carry 10 to 50 times their own weight! Whoa...that’s like you carrying a car!
  • Ants eat a lot of live or dead insects and nectar.
  • Ants usually live in the soil, but some, like carpenter ants, also live in dead wood.
  • Ants take care of larvae by washing them! (We call the ant babies right after they hatch and before they have legs "larvae.")
  • Ants have lived on Earth for more than 100 million years!
  • Ants create their own germ-fighters to keep the colony from getting infected.
  • Ants can walk upside down because each foot has two hooked claws.
  • Ants are very neat and clean. They have built-in combs for grooming their legs and antennae.
  • Ants do not have lungs. Instead oxygen enters and carbon dioxide exits through tiny openings on the sides of the body.

The Ant Colony =>