lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

A is for Ants and…

My first A-Z blog this year is going to be amazing facts about TWO animals beginning with the letter A.

First, Ants! There are 10,000 (at least) types of ants living all around the world.

They live in colonies, consisting of a queen ant that lays all the eggs, and worker ants which are wingless females, that feed the queen, forage for food, look after the eggs and larvae, and protect the colony. THE WOMEN DO EVERYTHING!!!

Males ants only have one job and that is to mate with the queen, who can live for up to 30 years. Workers live 1 to 3 years.

Amazing facts about ants include:

They nod to each other as they pass.

An ant can detect movement through 5 metres of earth.

They never sleep.

Males develop from unfertilised eggs. Incredible.

And the second animal is the anteater, a strangely but superbly-designed-for-one-job creature, that wouldn’t exist without ants.

It is a very odd-looking animal – here is is in an image taken by Tony Hisgett on Flikr.

Giant anteater, Tony Hisgett

.

Here are its facts in a quick poem:

.

Giant Anteater

.

What eats the ants

that run about?

It needs a slim, curved

near-ground snout,

plus long, quick tongue

that flicks in, out,

and lots of sting-proof

hair without –

an anteater

without a doubt!

.

Anteaters are classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

.

Photo © Tony Hisgett

Poem © Liz Brownlee

Information from Wiki.

If you would like to blog-hop to the next A-Z Challenge blog, please click here.

If you’d like to read about or buy my book, Animal Magic, full of animal poems and fascinating facts, click here.

32 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    The amazing ant that lift many times its weight and I always loved the anteater. reminds me of the cartoon that went with The Pink Panther

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    • Ooooh – which country was that, ‘Someone’? I don’t think the Pink Panther was paired with a cartoon over here. Ants are incredible, and do an amazing job in the garden.

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  2. Ann

    Liz, a great start to your challenge. Clearly you are going to include creatures both great and small. Love the poem revealing how well adapted the anteater is to its life-style. Presumably the snout is immune to the stings, too.

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    • Hi Ann! It is, but not as much as the rest of it, and they don’t eat for long each time – only about a minute, during which they lap up as many as possible before moving on.

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  3. anniediw

    Hi Liz,
    I’ve been looking forward to your Amazing Animals since you first announced them and this didn’t disappoint. Didn’t know much about ants except for seeing them marching about and hope we’ll be having a poem a day — a big ask, I know.
    Delighted to have found your blog..

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    • Hello Annie, thank you! I have to say I LOVE doing this challenge and have almost finished scheduling the whole lot, I’m in a creative mood and I think they all have poems on… some more finished than others!

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    • Annie, I can’t find your blog, do you have one?

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  4. I LOVE love love this! Can’t wait to stop by and see the rest!

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    • Thank you frog lady… there is a frog, later on…

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  5. Liz, Just stopped by from the A-Z Challenge. Interesting facts! Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the rest of the alphabet! Have a blessed day!

    Donna
    http://www.fullmeasureofjoy.com

    Like

    • Thank you Donna – one of my tasks this afternoon is visiting all my visitors!

      Like

    • Hey, Donna, couldn’t find a way to comment on your blog. Am I missing it?

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  6. Awesome that you included not just one animal, but a predator-prey pair. Nice balance! And love the poem! 🙂

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  7. That made me think of my pants! Lovely start to the Challenge, Liz!

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    • Thanks Helen… we used to play ants in our pants when we were very young. It involved sitting on the lawn and being the first to leap into the air shouting ‘Ants in your pants!’ Very entertaining.

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    • By the way, Helen, put your blog address in your comments – as you know, I can’t comment on your blog for some reason, but I can recommend your excellent services!

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  8. Great start, Liz! The ants I get in my apartment are so timy that only Don can see them, so I’ve probably eatne a fair number of them myself!

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    • Good source of non-fattening protein! Although – anteaters have a way of dealing with the formic acid, not sure about you, do you ever get heartburn? Lol!

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    • Hey, Liz, just to let you know. I tried commenting on your blog, and it said ‘publishing’ but nothing appeared! However if you comment again, put your blog address in your comment and include what you do, others may be able to read AND comment on your excellent blog and flash fiction!

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      • Thanks Liz – you had problems before, I think – Other people have commented so I’m not sure why you can’t.

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  9. Super start to your A- Z. I knew toads could live to be 40, but never knew what a ripe old age queen ant could reach.

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  10. Great post and looking forward to you following your journey on the A to Z!
    Leigh @ workbywriting.com

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  11. Leaf-cutter ants became my favourite rainforest creature when I went on holiday last year, they are the most amazing of creatures. Have fun with your A to Z

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    • Hi Martine, they are amazing, aren’t they! My son and I used to watch ants bringing tiny grains of ‘treasure’ up to the surface from under paving stones. I’ve always had a soft spot for them. I love to think of them nodding to each other as they pass.

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  12. Happy A to Z! Great start. I think that I may, in fact, be an ant.

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  13. I love to watch ants and always feel bad when I accidentally dig up a colony while gardening. Of course, even though they’re harmless to humans here I back away from the hordes so I don’t get swarmed. To see an anteater on television is cool, too. It would be fascinating to see one in person. They strike me as very amicable.

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    • They have quite poor eyesight so probably just wouldn’t notice you! They are incredible looking things though, aren’t they?

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  14. Hi Liz,
    I have been meaning to visit your blog since some days now!
    I truly enjoyed reading about ants and also the ant eater. I have a hobby: I love observing ants through the lens. I drop sugar cubes on my kitchen platform and then watch all the activity that takes place through my lens. And, what an entertainment it is! Oh, and also very inspiring! We humans really have a lot to learn from these amazing creatures, isn’t it?

    Like

    • Wow! Most people can’t wait to kill the ants that come into their home… We discourage them by putting spices along the front step (the only place they come in) which doesn’t harm them, but they don’t like crossing it. My son and I used to watch them a lot, though!

      Like

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