1. Some ants herd caterpillars, like cows: they take them out to graze in the morning, then round them up and bring them back home at night. In return for getting a nutritious liquid meal the ants provide protection for their insect cattle.
2. Ants turn more soil than worms.
3. Some animals bring food back to nest and regurgitate it for their offspring: with ants, the offspring pre-digest the food and regurgitate it back to the grown-ups to eat. Totally gross.
4. Leaf cutter ants don’t eat leaves: they bring them back to the nest, grind them up to make compost, grow fungus on the compost, then eat the fungus. (Which is why those in the know prefer the term ‘fungus-growing ants.’)
5. Army ant mandibles (pincers), can be used as “stitches” to seal up wounds: hold an army ant soldier over a wound until ant bites down. Hard. Twist body off of ant, leaving head (and mandibles) embedded in skin. Exhale.
6. The Field Museum holds over 1,000,000 ant specimens. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it?
7. In ant societies, females don’t just rule, they dominate: just about every ant you’ve ever seen is female. The males, who have wings, usually live just long enough (about two weeks) to mate, then die. Bummer.
8. Dracula ants suck the blood of their larvae. And it doesn’t even hurt them.
9. Ant queens are huge compared to the males they mate with. Imagine a 200-pound man. Now imagine a 4,000 pound woman…
10. Scientists who study ants have a funny name: they’re called myrmecologists. Myrmecologists suck up ants with a rubber tube that has a funny name: it’s called a pooter.
(It’s actually eleven factoids. Consider the "pooter thing" a bonus.)