Ants - the most evolutionarily advanced family of insects in terms of ethology, ecology and physiology. Their families are complex social groups with a division of labor and developed systems of communication and self-organization, allowing individuals to coordinate their actions in carrying out tasks that are beyond the power of one individual. A careful study of the life of ants made it possible to reveal the striking similarity between human life and these insects. Here are a few examples: newly born ants spend their childhood in special "manger" under the supervision of "educators", who regularly take out the little ones to walk outside the anthill. The patients are looked after by ants-doctors. They carry out daily preventive examinations, if necessary, hospitalize patients and even operate them - they amputate, for example, damaged limbs.

Ants - the most evolutionarily advanced family of insects in terms of ethology, ecology and physiology

In South America, ants are "farmers" who fill the ground with cracks in tree trunks and sow these unique fields with different cultures. All members of the community take part in harvesting. Some ant families use for plots sites around an anthill. Collected seeds go to food, and straws - for construction needs. Ants also have a burial ceremony: ants-grave-diggers refer the deceased to a cemetery located near an anthill, and betray it to the ground at a depth of 2-2,5 cm. Of course, there can be no talk of the rudiments of reason, at least of the mind in our understanding. An important role in the life of ants, according to experts, is played by a complex system of innate instincts, extremely developed in these social insects.

Ants eat mostly plant juice, and during the feeding of larvae - mainly insects. There are also species that feed on seeds ("reaper" ants) and cultivated mushrooms (leaf-cutting ants).

The sizes of representatives of the family are varied - from 1 to 30-50 mm and more. One of the smallest ants includes representatives of the genera monomorium (1-2 mm working individuals, females and males 3-4 mm). One of the largest representatives of the family of ants is the species Camponotus gigas, the size of the working individuals is about 20 mm, males 18,3 mm, soldiers 28,1 mm, uteruses - up to 31,3 mm.

Ants differ in their morphology from other insects by the presence of geniculate antennules, the metapleural gland, and also by the strong narrowing of the second abdominal segment into the petiol node. Like other insects, ants have an exoskeleton - an outer chitin sheath that provides support and protection of the body. The nervous system consists of the abdominal neural chain, which is located along the entire length of the body, and several nerve nodes connected together.

Like most insects, ants have complex facetted eyes, consisting of numerous tiny lenses. Ants' eyes clearly distinguish movement, but do not have a high resolution. In addition to a complex eye, there are three simple eyes on the top of the head that determine the level of illumination and the plane of polarization of light. Hooked claw at the end of each foot helps the ant to climb vertical surfaces. Most of the queens and males have wings. The queens bite their wings after the marriage flight. In the abdomen of the ant are internal organs, including reproductive, as well as secretory glands. Signal substances are secreted by special glands. Different kinds of ants can have up to ten of them. These glands differ in number, form, function and never occur simultaneously in the same species.