Ants have been around for 99 million years. They impress many scientists with their ability to adapt to any climate except Antarctica which is the only place on Earth that they cannot survive. They also seem to be able to survive wherever they are because of their ability to work together in colonies and communicate well. In addition to this, ants are great at solving problems and being organized. It is no wonder that they have existed as long as they have. But, science now wonders what ants might be like in the future? Most likely they will be just like they are now. All 12,500 known species of 25,000 or so in the existence of ants will be alive a thousand years in the future. They will still be formed in their class systems with queens, workers, and soldiers all doing their respective jobs of reproducing ants, nurturing egg larva, building nests and foraging for food. For more information on how ants follow this link. Back in the early days of ants, all of the queen ants had wings. Today, there are only some ant species who have queen ants with wings. The reason is that as the environment has changed so has the ants need for having wings. Todays queens have wings so that they can fly on their annual nuptial flights. This is where they mate and return to the colony or begin a new one. Scientists wonder how the continuing evolution of the climate and environment might affect any ant species from having wings. Many ants no longer have queens with wings simply because the current environment makes them unnecessary for the process of breeding new ants. But, if things continue in our world the way they are, the ants of the future may all lose their wings. Ants survive in many climates but forests have always been their most comfortable setting. As things changed and desert lands encroached on the forests, ants had to lose their wings. Science is seeing this potentially happen again because of droughts changing the existence of many forests particularly those in the Western United States. While flying might seem more evolutionary sound because of its convenience and speed, it is actually harder on ants than crawling. There are more dangers involved with flying. It seems that the ants of the future will be quite a lot like ants of the past and the present. But, they may eventually all shed their wings. The study of ants does point to how evolution in all species is tied to climate changes. Without an ability to adapt to changing surroundings any species of animal or insect will die out. Because ants have been capable of surviving many climatic changes over the course of their millions of years on the planet, it is predicted that they may, of course, survive many more. They will have physical differences from the ants of today, but probably not many sociological ones. After all, it is their ability to work together that is at the core of their survival tactics.
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