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Let's Get Antsy!
October 6, 2009


“Scout” ants are in charge of finding the colony’s new home.  Biologists recently studied how ants and people choose a new home and found that ants did a better job of making this decision than people!  That’s right!  See, ants don’t get distracted by other ants or food.  They focus on their mission.  They search, they find and they report back to the colony, only when they’ve located the perfect new home.

On the other hand, people get distracted by all kinds of things when searching for a new home, such as the neighbors or nearby grocery stores.  In no time at all, people will forget what they said they were looking for in the first place — such as a house with a great big bedroom for their tween daughter!

When it comes to decision-making, biologists say ants can do a better job than people!  Looks like we all need to get a little ANTSY!

Fun facts about ants:

  • Biologists have discovered more than 10,000 different species — or kinds — of ants.
  • The largest ant is more than 2.5 centimeters (1 inch) long, and the smallest ants are less than 1 millimeters (1/25 of an inch) long.
  • Some kinds of ants can lift objects that are 50 times heavier than themselves.  That would be like you lifting a car!
  • Most ants are black or brown, but some are yellow, green, red or purple.


Source:  Torrice, Michael. (2009, 22 July). “Can’t Decide? Ask an Ant.” ScienceNOW Daily News from http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org


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