Millions of millions?: Scientists have managed to count how many ants live on Earth | technology

A group of specialists undertook the arduous task of counting all the ants inhabiting the planet, which would be the most accurate number at the moment.

An investigation was finally published this Tuesday morning in the magazine PNAS gives a number of ants living on earth. Although it is an approximate amount, it is currently the most accurate considered in history.

Scientists came to the conclusion that around 20 billion ants (20,000,000,000,000,000) live on the entire planet.. This set also included 15,700 different species, some of which have not even been named by science.

As one of the smallest visible creatures on the planet, ants are by no means insignificant. And it is that through these numbers it was also possible to approximate the amount of carbon they translate into.

across the planet, Ants form a biomass of 12 million tons of dry carbon “This exceeds the combined biomass of wild birds and mammals and is equivalent to 20% of human biomass,” the paper said.

What are ants important for and how were they counted?

In addition, these insects perform important functions for the environment, such as B. aeration of soil, dispersal of seeds, decomposition of organic matter, creation of habitat for other animals and they are an important part of the food chain.

Likewise, Research shows that the amount varies by location. “Ant abundance is unevenly distributed on Earth, peaking in the tropics and varying six-fold between habitats,” they report.

To account for all the ants on the planet, 489 studies on populations of this species, conducted by other scientists, were analyzed in detail Specialists from all over the world, in different languages.

Other methods also required studying the main ant habitats, such as forests, deserts, grasslands and cities. So they counted 20,000 quadrillion, a number that exceeds those previously calculated.

Scientific study

This article is based on a scientific study that may be subject to new tests to be validated or discarded. Their results should NOT be taken as conclusive.

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