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Currently our Earth contains about 20,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 ants.
Have you ever wondered exactly how many species of ants live on Earth? A newly published study will give you the closest answer. According to research by Zmescienceour planet contains about 20,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (20 and 15 zeros).
It is estimated that the world’s ants as a whole can form about 12 million tons of dry carbon. This number exceeds the mass of all the world’s wild birds and wild mammals combined. This is also about a fifth of the total human weight.
The famous biologist Edward O. Wilson once said that insects and other invertebrates are “the smallest things in the world”. In particular, ants are an indispensable organism in the natural environment. Ants play an important role in aerating the soil, dispersing seeds, decomposing organic matter, providing habitat for other animals, and forming an important part of the food chain.
Estimating the number and mass of ants is an important foundation for monitoring ant populations in the context of climate change that is causing concern around the world.
There are more than 15,700 named species and subspecies of ants, and many more that have yet to be scientifically named. The high level of social organization of ants has allowed them to colonize nearly all ecosystems and regions around the globe.
The incredible prevalence of ants has led many naturalists to ponder their exact numbers on Earth. These are also systematic conjectures and estimates, based on the missing evidence.
The study included an analysis of 489 studies on ant populations conducted by scientists around the world.
The study spans all continents and other habitats including forests, deserts, grasslands and cities. The scientists used standardized methods to collect and count ants such as trapping and leaf sampling.
Ants are also particularly abundant in forests, and surprisingly in arid regions. But they are becoming less common in man-made habitats.
Alarmingly, global insect populations are declining, especially ants, due to threats such as habitat destruction and fragmentation, chemical use, invasive species and climate change.
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