The Wonderful World of Ants
In biological classification, ants belong to the phylum arthropoda, class insecta, and order hymenoptera. An ant’s distinguishing features include a body that is divided into three sections, namely the head, the thorax, and the gaster, which is the part of the abdomen that is behind an ant’s “waist”. Though they are tiny and at times hard to identify, there are actually different types of ants in the world, and each type exhibits different characteristics.
The ant is one of the most social insects. They live in colonies, each of which are headed by one or a few queens, who are the only ones able to reproduce. All worker ants are females, with the queen staying deep inside the colony.
Ants have a positive effect on the world’s ecosystem. Ants also help farmers disperse seeds at harvest time. These tiny creatures also help aerate the soil, while leaf-cutting ants, located in the American tropics, actually graze more than mammals.
The best way to observe the living conditions and characteristics of ants is to keep an ant farm. An ant farm is basically a man-made ant colony with transparent walls, so you can see them from the outside. Uncle Milton popularized ant farms as a toy, and has currently sold over 20 million ant farms. Ant farms are generally very thin structures, to allow the tunnels and cavities made by the ants themselves to be easily observed.