An Ant Army

There is no ant species that is as voracious as the infamous army ant. They are typically identified by their curved mandibles, which are able to easily cut through flesh. With colony sizes exceeding 200,000 ants, a foraging line can span about 20 meters wide and over 100 meters in length, covering a huge area in which all moving organisms will be viciously torn apart and brought back to the nest. The army ant nest, however, isn’t a series of tunnels in the ground that most people are used to.

An army ant nest is actually made up of ants. The ants lightly, yet firmly, bite the appendages of their fellow comrades in order to create a cone-like structure, with the queen and brood safely tucked away inside. Whenever the surrounding area has been exhausted of animals to consume, the entire nest begins to stir, with the queen following shortly after the brood has left. When a desirable nesting ground has been selected, the army ants immediately begin to reform the nest. To keep up with the growing hunger of the population, the queen must produce up to 3-4 million eggs a month, which is much higher than other ant species. This technique is also used to bridge gaps on the jungle floor, allowing friendly ants to continue the foraging path.

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