Most thorough assessment to date of global population of ants
Researchers have made the most thorough assessment to date of the global population of ants — insects that have colonized almost everywhere on the planet — and the estimated total is a mind-blowing 20 quadrillion of them.
The ants' biomass was higher than that of wild mammals and birds combined, and it reaches 20 percent of the human biomass.
They have thrived since the age of dinosaurs, with the oldest-known ant fossil dating back about 100 million years to the Cretaceous Period.
There are more than 12,000 known species of ants, which generally are black, brown or red in color and possess bodies segmented into three parts.