We are always told about the climate crisis and how bleak our future prospects on planet earth look. Well, I have been pondering about who in our animal kingdom which includes insects and bugs, might be next in line to “rule” the earth. What if All the humans vanished, who might be the next on the evolutionary scale that could succeed the human’s fictional throne.
Ants, those little creatures you see hobbling a long your wall look for sugar and sweet things. The little buggers who can make you scream like a little girl when one of them bites you. Small but oh so powerful that they can bring a grown man down to their level. Now, we are not even talking yet about if they had to work together to bring you down. They could, easily.
Now I know you are probably thinking, this guy has been smoking something ridiculous if he thinks Ants could be the next rulers of the earth. But you are thinking about it in the wrong way. Let me explain to you more about Ants, and let me try to convince you why they could easily be the next in line rulers because of who they are as Insects, and how they have evolved thus far. as a species, ants are far, far older than humans. Scientists estimate that ants developed in the mid-Cretaceous period, 110-130 million years old. Ants are as old as dinosaurs!
Firstly let’s start at Ant species, there are over 12 000 different species found on our planet. 12 000! Now on average, experts say that an Ant can pick up 20 times their weight. So imagine a second-grade school kid, that is the equivalent of that kid being able to pick up a small car like its nothing. Pretty badass if you ask me.
Ants also have badass Viking blood energy going for them because when Ants fight, they are willing to fight to the death in an instant to defend their colonies, especially to protect their Queen, which btw, can have more than a million babies if she lives long enough. Truly, the mother of Ants is the most valuable to them.
Ants don’t have lungs. Oxygen enters through tiny holes all over their little bodies and carbon dioxide leaves through the same holes. So no huffing and puffing doing the basic tasks for them, they can go for ages doing the same tasks repetitively.
Next, I am going to discuss how vicious Ants can be, Ant colonies also have soldier ants that protect the queen, Yes, legitimate Ants who were born to defend the colony at all costs, gather or kill food, and attack any enemy colonies that might be searching for food and nesting space.
So what if they actually defeat the ‘enemy’? Well If they defeat another ant colony, they take away eggs of the defeated ant colony. When the eggs are hatched, the new ants become the “slave” ants for the colony. Yes, Ants believe in Slavery! They would put the slave ants to work taking care of the colonies eggs and babies, gathering food for the colony and building the anthills or mounds since its a bit more ‘hard-labour’ oriented.
So in other words, if a soldier Ant comes after you, you better fight with everything you have to win.
Ants are also not picky eaters, they would eat almost anything. They are mostly omnivorous from plants and seeds to dead animals and even motor oil. But there is a few though that are carnivorous such as the army ants (Eciton burchelli), they tend to prey upon a variety of animals such as lizards, chickens, pigs and goats. So yes… full-on army ants eating meat only.
Then you get my kind of ants, the herbivore kind such as the leafcutter ants that eat mainly plants and fungi. a Lot less traumatizing to think about.
So just to recap, 12 000 species, soldier ants to make others slaves, some are meat-eating only, can pick up far more than 20 times their weight oh and did you know that there is an estimated one Million Billion Ants Living on Earth? Weighing as much as all of the humans currently on earth apparently… that is scary! Plus Ants can be found everywhere on the Planet.
Ants have also been observed to ‘nurse’ their sick and wounded members of the colony.
Sometimes, giving a home to a lost homeless ant and they can live up to 30 years! They can survive underwater for up to two weeks because they have extremely tiny breathing tubes which water can’t penetrate. They also do not need a GPS like silly humans, they simply use the Earths magnetic field for navigation.
So remove Humans from the equation now. Only animals, bugs, insects etc. I strongly believe that the Ants will have free range to grow to reach their fullest potentials and take over as the main ruler of the Earth. Imagine if they all just grew 20cm in length and stood together as one species collectively over the planet. The rest of the earth would not stand a chance against them standing together. They are experts at working together, their own internal ‘government’ like structure makes some of them work as super colonies already as everyone knows exactly what to do when where and how.
The earth is filled with an abundance of resources, but take the soldier ants and a dedicated queen or two and in a few centuries, they could claim anything they want from other species.
I said what I said, The Ants should be feared. One day they will get tired of living in our shadows. Be warned! (Just for fun don’t come at me, unless you are an Ant reading this then all hail our new overlords)