25 Jul Think you don’t have much in common with the humble ant? Change your perspective
Sometimes looking at your life from a different perspective can help you to see things more clearly. Step forward the humble ant.
I love going for a walk and soaking up nature and looking out for the changes. And one thing I spotted really got me thinking.
It was an ant. This amazing, fascinating, incredible little creature on his own scurrying across the road.
Ants are marvellous creatures, even though they can be pests. A bit like all of us really – marvellous creatures and sometimes we can be pests.
Change your perspective through the amazing world of ants
I thought I’d do some ant investigating and share some facts about these small but mighty creatures, as sometimes as humans we feel can small yet, we are too, are mighty creatures.
Ants are common but have some unique capabilities just like humans.
Also like us, ants are very social creatures, that live together in colonies. It’s almost like they have their own little villages, towns and cities. Ant colonies also have a queen – a bit like us in that regard then too!
They can live from several weeks to several years and are apparently the longest living insect.
The ant is said to be one of the strongest creatures in the world, capable of carrying up to between 10 and 50 times their own bodyweight. Wow!
Working together to achieve bigger things
It’s not only the solitary ant that can make us stop and think. Ants really come into their own when they display what can be achieved when we share the weight. This can be applied to problem solving as well as moving heavy objects.
As a collective, if they’ve got a really big object to move, ants will just get together and move it. If we were that strong, that would mean that you and I, could single-handedly lift a car above our heads.
Not only are they incredibly strong for their size, but ants are also apparently incredibly fast, holding the world record for the fastest movement in the animal kingdom? Not fast in terms of running but an ant can close its jaw at a speed of 140mph to catch prey.
Talking of bites, there’s an ant called the bullet ant, which is said to have not the most painful bite, but the most painful sting in the world. The ant lives in the Amazon and its sting has been compared to being hit by a bullet. Not only can ants sting, or bite at 140mph, but there is a little red species called a fire ant that has a particularly painful bite that leaves a burning sensation.
Change your perspective: Finding an alternative solution
Did you know that ants don’t have ears? Some of them don’t have any eyes either. They listen by feeling vibrations from the ground under their feet – how amazing is that? And ants with no eyes, such as the driver ant species, communicate by using their antennae, and can send chemical signals called pheromones. They send out warnings when there’s danger nearby and leave trails of pheromones that can lead other ants to food sources.
Ants don’t have lungs, so how do they breathe? Oxygen enters through tiny little holes all over the body, then carbon monoxide leaves through the same holes.
Strength in numbers
According to National Geographic, the largest ants nest ever found was over 3,700 miles long. That must have been a lot of ants! It was found in 2000, in Argentina, and was home to 33 different ant populations, with millions of nests and billions of worker ants in it.
Ants can be found on every single continent on this planet, accept Antarctica. How funny is that?
Finally, did you know that together, all the ants in the world weigh as much as all the people in the world? Now that takes a lot of ants.
Makes you think, doesn’t it? Ants, a bit like us, small but mighty, here with a purpose, all with a job to do. Strong, resilient, sociable and unstoppable, I like that thought.
From the many amazing facts that exist about ants the one to thought to really take home is their resilience in working with what they have and their ability to find additional strength through others.
Choose the life you want to lead
If you are struggling on your own, change your perspective and share the weight by seeking support and help where you need it. Just like thew ant kingdom when two of us work together we can achieve so much more.
If you need support the Back on Track Teens community is here to help online at:
Shifting your perspective can be a great way to see things more clearly and to feel better about challenges. Let us know of anything that has helped you shift your perspective on something.