(illustration copyrighted)

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Incredible Insects of the Rain Forest


ants

Imagine that you're walking through a rain forest and decide to sit down to rest. You notice something on your leg. Ants!! They'll soon be crawling all over you…

Ants

Did you know…

Red ant (illustration copyrighted). In Peru, one researcher reported seeing 43 species of ants on a SINGLE TREE.1

Amazon basin (photo copyrighted).

Red ant (illustration copyrighted).Some researchers believe that 30% of the animal biomass of the Amazon Basin is made up of ants.

Red ant (illustration copyrighted).A single ant colony can include over 5-million busy members - soliders and workers (undeveloped females; never have wings; cannot mate), males (can mate with the queen), and the queen.

Red ant (illustration copyrighted).Her majesty is one busy bug, laying up to 100-million eggs a day! She only needs to mate once in her lifetime to be able to produce at least 15 years of eggs.2

Red ant (illustration copyrighted).Although she is called a “queen,” she is more of an egg factory than a leader. Somehow, the Creator has designed ants to be highly efficient and organized as a group without a leader.

Honey ant (illustration copyrighted)
Honey ant

Red ant (illustration copyrighted).“Argentine ants” keep herds of “cows” (plant lice). “Leaf-cutter ants” run 'farms,' raising their own food crops. The Mediterranean ant (aphaenogaster barbarus) makes “biscuits” from seeds. “Honey ants” store their food in living “storage tanks.” “Amazon ants” have slaves to help with the work.3

Ants have a communication “language,” and each colony member has a task, working together to keep the colony fed, safe and healthy.

Even the Bible mentions the wonderful diligence of ants: "Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest" (Proverbs 6:6-8).

Copyrighted image. © Andrey Pavlov
Baby ant with its nurse. Each newborn ant (Formica rufa) has 2-3 nurses and mentors to help it.

Ants carry on complex social organizations, building projects, and communications. Many groups of animals depend on leaders. Even herds of wild horses or packs of wolves require leaders. But ants are different. Thousands of years before there were entomologists to study ants, God revealed in the Bible that ants have no leaders. The individuals see the task before them that needs to be done, and they do it, without being told.

What an amazing Creator we have! Somehow he managed to pack all these complexities into an extremely tiny body and an even tinier speck of a brain. Compare this task to trying to develop a self-powered, fully-independent robot as small as the tiniest ant - and with ALL the ants fantastic abilities. What an impossibly difficult job!

What can an ant teach me about life? Answer

There are thousands of species of ants. Ants from the time of the dinosaurs have been preserved in amber. They are identical to those living today. The fossil record shows that they have not evolved from other insects; ants have always been ants. (Learn more about Creation/Evolution)

Ants love heat; so we find the greatest numbers in types in the tropics. They come in various colors - red, black, brown, red-and-black, or yellow.

Red ant (illustration copyrighted).Some ants squirt a stinky fluid at their enemies. The most dangerous and agressive ants are “army ants” (they're blind), “driver ants” (from Africa), “fire ants” and the various stinging ants. Driver ants have reportedly killed a wounded elephant and stripped its bones clean. Masses of army ants are clever enough to cross rivers.

“Leaf-cutter ants” are fascinating to watch as they cut and carry leaves far bigger than themselves from the tops of tall trees down to their “farms.”

Print and color our Ants coloring page

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Butterflies & Moths
More amazing insects of the rain forest! Go

Actias Luna (photo copyrighted) Dragonhead grasshopper (photo copyrighted)
Bee (illustration copyrighted)Play our Killer Bees game

Authors: Paul and Heather Taylor, Films for Christ

REFERENCES

  1. Edward Osborne Wilson, The Diversity of Life (W W Norton & Co).
  2. William Steel Creighton, “Ants,” Encyclopedia Britannica.
  3. Fred John Meladu, Why We Believe in Creation, Not in Evolution (Denver, CO: Christian Victory Publishing Co.)

Insect sounds…



Rain forest pets - How many do you have at your house?

More answers

  • Has it ever rained frogs or fish or any other strange things? Answer

  • How might rain forest destruction affect our weather? Answer

  • The movie Antz, we have a review.

Find answers to more of your questions—Go

Ant, animatedclick for Kid ExplorersClick here to enter God's StoryClick here to enter The Great Dinosaur Mystery

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