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Top 10 Animal Workaholics

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Top 10 Animal Workaholics

By Joy H. Montgomery, Animal Planet

This may surprise you, but ants have more of a purpose than putting a damper on your picnic. These industrious animals have workloads that may put your own to shame. In fact, many creatures work long days and nights just to survive in the wild, and if you think your 9-to-5 job is rough, a lot of these animals perform tasks that are very similar to jobs people do — though they may have completely different reasons for doing them and unique tools for getting the jobs done. Why do some birds, for example, work as interior decorators? And how do beavers construct giant lodges by chewing on tree bark? Find out what a regular workday is like in the animal kingdom for 10 of the most dedicated workers around.

10. Factory Workers: Ants

If you’ve ever had an ant farm, then you know an ant colony runs like a factory with well-defined roles and responsibilities. The queen ant’s only role is to reproduce, making her the sole producer of all ants born in a colony. A male ant’s only job is to mate with the queen, and unlike the queen, who lives for 15 to 20 years, males die shortly after mating. All of the other ants in the colony have specific jobs to keep it running smoothly. Worker ants are responsible for feeding and caring for the larvae produced by the queen, as well as keeping the colony clean, digging new tunnels and a variety of other tasks. Foraging ants are responsible for finding food and bringing their finds back to the colony. In addition to these roles, some ants act as security guards, scouting locations for the foragers and guarding the colony. While ants might appear to be nature’s nuisance, these tiny bugs eat dead insects and their underground tunnels help aerate soil, making them a vital part of any ecosystem.

Related: 7 Animals Smarter Than Humans

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Read more: Behavior & Communication, Do Good, Humor & Inspiration, Nature & Wildlife, Pets, , , , , , , ,

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1:07PM PST on Feb 5, 2013

Czasami wstyd mi za ludzi, w porównaniu z tymi zwierzętami, część z nas to straszne lenie.

9:57PM PST on Feb 4, 2013

Just thought I should mention that the Bower Bird's bower is for attracting and courting a female.
The nest for her eggs and raising their young is built way up in a tall tree :)

2:15PM PST on Feb 4, 2013

Great and humourous list.

1:34PM PST on Nov 22, 2012

Wonderful, thanks for posting.

3:14AM PDT on Apr 4, 2012

Ants are the most awesomeist *sic* creatures on the planet for a plethora of reasons that outshine the most talented at foraging or working. Community minded, caring, policing, saving, and working together as well as sharing the load and the other awesome thing they do is carry a load that is far greater and heavier than WE could carry. These little creatures get a bad rap but if you take the time to watch them do their thing. nah not eat your picnic lunch but out in the garden you will quickly see a different and most awesome side of an Ant. They are my colony Hero's. Brilliant they are. Wish we could take a leaf out of their book and learn to survive and work together in harmony. Like they do. Brilliant.

9:45AM PST on Mar 5, 2012

Emperor penguins are awesome! The males totally deserve the title of "Dad of the Year". They are practically single-parents for four months and endure the worst weather on the planet! That's dedication!

Lara - Termites are Isoptera (recently reclassified "Termitoidae"), not hymenoptera. They are two different groups.

8:47AM PST on Feb 23, 2012

Just continues to show how much us humans can learn from animals. thanks

1:01PM PST on Feb 12, 2012

Interesting. Termites, Ants and Bees are all social hymenopterans (hymenoptera is a very large class of Insects, 130,000 recognized species). The "social" hymenopterans (hymen meaning membrane and ptera meaning "wing") have been around since the Cretacious period so clearly they are doing something right! They even share a hive mind! Very cool!

12:51PM PST on Feb 12, 2012

very interesting...

11:38AM PST on Feb 3, 2012

Very good article, thank you !

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