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Who Will GAIA Crown the Next King of Beasts on Planet Earth?
Let's face it, the days of humans, as the king of beasts on Planet Earth, are numbered as humans are not evolving as a species, and humans are making the environment inhospitable for themselves.
One day humans will be gone. Perhaps some will head for a new home. More likely humans will become extinct. Which animal will fill the void?
Even Stephen Hawking who is an optimist stated:
"I believe that the long-term future of the human race must be in space."
"It will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next hundred years, let alone the next thousand, or million." Source
So which species is destined to take over when humans are all dead or have abandoned earth for greener pasture elsewhere on other planets.
ANTS! Yes Ants!
Why Will Ants Inherent the Earth as King of Beasts?
Because ants are everywhere and they have such a well organised social structure. Ants are highly social creatures and can adapt to eat almost anything, and live almost anywhere.
They can walk, fly and jump and hitch a ride on anything that floats or flies. They have spread all round the globe as hitchhikers and stowaways on planes and ships. They have a huge number of species that can occupy any niche, anywhere.
So ants are the best and most diverse species and the best adapted to the altered environment in the cities and urban spaces. Ants are everywhere now, and will be everywhere when the final human on Earth dies out. Some other points are:
- Ants are virtually independent of any other species on the Planet. They are omnivores like humans and they farm fungi and other organisms.
- They occur in every environment, every nook and all crannies and hidden places. High and low, near and far, everywhere you will find an ant. They also occur in large numbers, primed to take over when called upon. They are resilient as a species and prolific breeders
- There are more than 50,000 species so far identified, and there is huge scope for further evolution once humans and the pest controllers have gone. Ants as human pest controllers - now there's a thought (see the image).
Ants Occur Everywhere in Very High Numbers
They're everywhere, They're everywhere!
- Best guess is that there are 321,035,624,829,901,000 ants on earth which has an area of 5,490,232,704,000,000 square feet. So on average there are about 60 ants per square foot, 0.5 ants per square inch and 0.10 ants per square centimeter on Earth.
- Ants already outnumber humans by 200 million to one.
- Even with 6 feet per ant, their 'footprints' on earth, their impact on Planet Earth are minuscule compared with human kind.
That's why GAIA loves ants so much, and is ready to anoint them.
The ants are coming!
Look around you now. How many ants can you see? Were they there yesterday?
How Did Ants Evolve?
A rough estimate is that there are 300,000 trillion ants on earth, now.
In the Brazilian rain forest, the total biomass of ants is estimated to be four times the combined weight of all the amphibians, reptiles and mammals.
One of the reasons ants have been so successful is their social life. The large ant colonies can split the work in the colony between specialised groups, similar to human colonies with various groups finding food, rearing young ants and army ants that defend the nests.
Recent studies have shown that ants evolved from the mud dauber wasps, which make pipe-shaped nests on buildings, rocks and trees. These wasps are virtually solitary and so the social life of ants has developed after they split from the wasps. The 'origin of the ants' study, was based on sequencing 300 genes from ants and comparing them with those in the genome of various bees and wasps.
The life of the mud dauber wasp, may offer some clues about how the social life of ants developed from the embryonic social features of wasps.
The female wasp makes a mud cylinder. She then finds an insect to paralyze, takes it back to the nest, puts in the mud cylinder, lays an egg in the insect and seals the cylinder shut. The baby wasp that hatches from the egg, feeds on the paralyzed insect as it develops. This could well be the precursor of ant behavior that involves building nests in the ground and catching and delivering food to their offspring in the nest. Care of the young is a key attribute shared between wasps and ants.
The study also showed that bees evolved from mud dauber wasps as well. They have a similar highly developed social structure.
The ANTS are coming. One day the ants will inherit the earth. Long Live Ants.
Do you believe that Ants will rule Planet Earth one day?
© 2013 Dr. John Anderson