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Ants are social insects of the family Formicidae and, along with the related families of wasps and bees, belong to the order Hymenoptera. Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the mid-Cretaceous period between 110 and 130 million years ago and diversified after the rise of flowering plants. Today, more than 12,000 species are classified with upper estimates of about 14,000 species.They are easily identified by their elbowed antennae and a distinctive node-like structure that forms a slender waist.
Ants form colonies that range in size from a few tens of predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organised colonies which may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals that are mostly sterile females forming castes of "workers", "soldiers", or other specialised groups. Ant colonies also have some fertile males called "drones" and one or more fertile females called "queens". The colonies are sometimes described as superorganisms because ants appear to operate as a unified entity, collectively working together to support the colony.
Ants have colonised almost every landmass on Earth. The only places lacking indigenous ants are remote or inhospitable islands. Ants dominate most ecosystems, and form 15–20% of the terrestrial animal biomass. Their success has been attributed to their social organisation, ability to modify their habitats, tap resources and defend themselves. Their long co-evolution with other species has led to mimetic, commensal, parasitic and mutualistic relationships.
Ant societies have division of labour, communication between individuals, and an ability to solve complex problems. These parallels with human societies have long been an inspiration and subject of study. Many human cultures make use of ants in cuisine, medication, and rituals. Some species are valued in their role as biological pest control agents . However, their ability to exploit resources brings ants into conflict with humans, as they can damage crops and invade buildings. Some species, such as the red imported fire ant, are regarded as invasive species, since they can establish themselves in new areas where they may be accidentally introduced.
Tecnical Photo :
Model: FinePix S9600
Software: Adobe Photoshop CS2 Windows
Exposure Time: 1/146
ISO Speed Ratings: 200
Focal Length: 2500/100 mm
Metering Mode: Pattern
Flash: Flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
File Size: 208 kb
-- SADEGH --
banaei_nikon has marked this note useful
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Excellent capture of this male Whinchat with good pose and composition, sharp details and bright natural colours.
Ciao Sadegh, lovely little ant with amazing details and excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio
- [2009-01-14 5:59]
a sharp shot of the ant. Maybe you can make it better by putting it off centre.
Nice contrasting colours.