Nature, at its smallest scales, hides details that are difficult for the human eye to see, whether it is related to the objects or creatures we observe in our daily lives. This month the winners of the photomicrography competition were announced Nikon Small World 2022And one of the winning films caught the attention of the public: An ant’s face.
Author of the photo, Eugenius KavaliskasA close-up of the face of an ant of the species was achieved Componodus and won the award in the ‘Image of Distinction’ category. He applied like everyone else who applied Optical microscope; In this case, the reflected light technique and a X5 lens magnification.
After its release, many users on social networks were surprised to see this level of detail in such a familiar animal.
“Scene from a horror movie? No. That is the true face of the ant. an ant. Now you have to think about it all night.” Commented on Twitter Rebekah McKendry is a film director specializing in the horror genre.
The image shows fascinating details of the ant’s face. From bottom to top: your closed jaw, clypeus (hardened area in the middle of the face) and Antenna emerging from two basins. Also, some hair is appreciated.
Although the sockets may be mistaken for his eyes, they are actually there Located on both sides of the faceAs shown in the following figure, obtained by optical microscopy.
Camponotus ants are an ecologically diverse species distributed in all regions of the world. They range from wood ants to honey eaters and weavers.
Secrets of the face of the ant
The success of ant colonies is due to their complex social structure and their physical and emotional abilities, which are primarily found in their heads.
are antennas sense organs Most important among ants. They not only provide sensations such as touch and smell, but also use them to transmit social signals as a two-way communication system.
Meanwhile, their jaw, made up of two pieces (like a pincer), is used for eating, attacking hostile individuals and above all for transportation: they can carry food, eggs, larvae or objects.
The strong grip of these pincers allows an ant to carry objects many times its own weight.
How many ants are there in the world?
According to a study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), there are 20,000 billion ants on Earth, although experts note that this number underestimates the total number of insects.
The researchers placed traps that caught passing ants for a period of time and then analyzed their numbers on a dissected section of leaves on the ground.
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