Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 32


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about the sport. For the ball used in the sport, see Basketball (ball). For other uses,
see Basketball (disambiguation).


Michael Jordan goes for a slam dunk

Highest governing body FIBA

First played December 21, 1891; 125 years

ago. Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.


Contact Yes

Team members 5 per side

Mixed gender Yes, separate competitions

Type Indoor

Equipment Basketball
Venue Indoor court (mainly) or outdoor court


Country or region Worldwide

Olympic Yes, Demonstrated in the 1904 and 1924

Summer Olympics
Part of the Summer Olympic program
since 1936

Paralympic Yes

Basketball is a sport that is played by two teams of five players on a rectangular court. The
objective is to shoot a ball through a hoop 18 inches (46 cm) in diameter and mounted at a height of
10 feet (3.048 m) to backboards at each end of the court. The game was invented in 1891 by Dr.
James Naismith, who would be the first basketball coach of the Kansas Jayhawks, one of the most
successful programs in the game's history.
A team can score a field goal by shooting the ball through the basket being defended by the
opposition team during regular play. A field goal scores three points for the shooting team if the
player shoots from behind the three-point line, and two points if shot from in front of the line. A team
can also score via free throws, which are worth one point, after the other team is assessed with
certain fouls. The team with the most points at the end of the game wins, but additional time
(overtime) is issued when the score is tied at the end of regulation. The ball can be advanced on the
court by throwing it to a teammate, or by bouncing it while walking or running (dribbling). It is a
violation to lift, or drag, one's pivot foot without dribbling the ball, to carry it, or to hold the ball with
both hands then resume dribbling.
There are many techniques for ball-handlingshooting, passing, dribbling, and rebounding.
Basketball teams generally have player positions, the tallest and strongest members of a team are
called a center or power forward, while slightly shorter and more agile players are called small
forward, and the shortest players or those who possess the best ball handling skills are called
a point guard or shooting guard. The point guard directs the on court action of the team,
implementing the coach's game plan, and managing the execution of offensive and defensive plays
(player positioning).
Basketball is one of the world's most popular and widely viewed sports. [1] The National Basketball
Association (NBA) is the most popular and widely considered to be the highest level of professional
basketball in the world and NBA players are the world's best paid athletes by average annual salary
per player.[2][3] Outside North America, the top clubs from national leagues qualify to continental
championships such as the Euroleague and FIBA Americas League. The FIBA Basketball World
Cup attracts the top national teams from around the world. Each continent hosts regional
competitions for national teams, like EuroBasket and FIBA Americas Championship.
The FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup features the top national women's basketball teams from
continental championships. The main North American league is the WNBA, whereas
the EuroLeague Women has been dominated by teams from the Russian Women's Basketball
Premier League.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Belgian" and "Belgique" redirect here. For the people, see Belgians. For other uses, see Belgian

Coordinates: 5050N 400E

Kingdom of Belgium

Koninkrijk Belgi (Dutch)

Royaume de Belgique (French)

Knigreich Belgien (German)

Flag Coat of arms

Motto: "Eendracht maakt macht" (Dutch)

"L'union fait la force" (French)
"Einigkeit macht stark" (German)
"Unity makes Strength"

Anthem: "La Brabanonne"

(instrumental version)

Location of Belgium (dark green)

in Europe (green & dark grey)
in the European Union (green)

Capital Brussels
5051N 421E

Largest city Antwerp

Official languages Dutch


Ethnic groups see Demographics

Demonym Belgian

Government Federal parliamentary

constitutional monarchy[1]

Monarch Philippe
Prime Minister Charles Michel

Legislature Federal Parliament

Upper house Senate

Lower house Chamber of Representatives

Independence from the Netherlands

Declared 4 October 1830
Recognised 19 April 1839
Founded the EEC (now the EU) 1 January 1958

Total 30,528 km2(11,787 sq mi) (140th)
Water (%) 6.4

1 January 2016 census 11,250,585[2] (75th)
Density 363.6/km2(941.7/sq mi) (23rd)

GDP (PPP) 2016 estimate

Total $508.598 billion[3](38th)
Per capita $44,881[3] (20th)

GDP (nominal) 2016 estimate

Total $470.179 billion[3](23rd)
Per capita $41,491[3] (17th)

Gini (2011) 26.3[4]


HDI (2014) 0.890[5]

very high 21st

Currency Euro () (EUR)

Time zone CET (UTC+1)

Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)

Drives on the right

Calling code +32

ISO 3166 code BE

Internet TLD .be

a The flag's official proportions of 13:15 are rarely seen; proportions of 2:3 or
similar are more common.

a The Brussels region is the de facto capital, but the City of

Brussels municipality is the de jure capital[6]

a The .eu domain is also used, as it is shared with other European Union
member states.

Belgium ( /bldm/; Dutch: Belgi [blij] ( listen); French: Belgique [blik] (


listen); German: Belgien [blinn ] ( listen)), officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign
state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg, and the
North Sea. It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 30,528 square
kilometres (11,787 sq mi) and has a population of about 11 million people. Straddling the cultural
boundary between Germanic and Latin Europe, Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups:
the Dutch-speaking, mostly Flemish community, which constitutes about 59% of the population, and
the French-speaking, mostly Walloon population, which comprises 41% of all Belgians. Additionally,
there is a small group of German-speakers who live in the East Cantons located around the High
Fens area, and bordering Germany.
Historically, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg (along with parts of Northern France and
Western Germany) were known as the Low Countries; it once covered a somewhat larger area than
the current Benelux group of states. The region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman
province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of
Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. From the 16th
century until the Belgian Revolution in 1830, when Belgium seceded from the Netherlands, the area
of Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, causing it to be dubbed the
"Battlefield of Europe,"[7] a reputation strengthened by both world wars.
Today, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is
divided into three regions and three communities, that exist next to each other. Its two largest
regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern
region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region is an officially bilingual (French and
Dutch) enclave within the Flemish Region.[8] A German-speaking Community exists in eastern
Wallonia.[9][10] Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political
history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments.[11][12]
Upon its independence, declared in 1830, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution[13][14] and,
during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.[15] The second half of
the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-
speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic
development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching
reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970
to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased; there is
significant separatism particularly among the Flemish; controversial language laws exist such as
the municipalities with language facilities;[16] and the formation of a coalition government took 18
months following the June 2010 federal election, a world record.[17] Belgium is one of the six founding
countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, Council of
the European Union, and European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the
country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is also a founding member of
the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO, and a part of the trilateral Benelux Union. Its capital,
Brussels, hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major
international organizations such as NATO.[nb 1] Belgium is also a part of the Schengen Area. Belgium
is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy and is categorized as "very high" in
the Human Development Index.

Binomial nomenclature
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Latin name" redirects here. For personal names in the Roman Empire, see Roman naming
For the system used for voting, see Binomial voting system.
Binomial nomenclature (also called binominal nomenclature or binary nomenclature) is a
formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts, both
of which use Latin grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages.
Such a name is called a binomial name (which may be shortened to just "binomial"), a binomen or
a scientific name; more informally it is also called a Latin name. The first part of the name identifies
the genus to which the species belongs; the second part identifies the species within the genus. For
example, humans belong to the genus Homo and within this genus to the species Homo sapiens.
The formal introduction of this system of naming species is credited to Carl Linnaeus, effectively
beginning with his work Species Plantarum in 1753.[1] But Gaspard Bauhin, in as early as 1623, had
introduced in his book Pinax theatri botanici (English, Illustrated exposition of plants) many names of
genera that were later adopted by Linnaeus.[2]
The application of binomial nomenclature is now governed by various internationally agreed codes of
rules, of which the two most important are the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN)
for animals and the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN). Although
the general principles underlying binomial nomenclature are common to these two codes, there are
some differences, both in the terminology they use and in their precise rules.
In modern usage, the first letter of the first part of the name, the genus, is always capitalized in
writing, while that of the second part is not, even when derived from a proper noun such as the name
of a person or place. Similarly, both parts are italicized when a binomial name occurs in normal text.
Thus the binomial name of the annual phlox (named after botanist Thomas Drummond) is now
written as Phlox drummondii.
In scientific works, the "authority" for a binomial name is usually given, at least when it is first
mentioned, and the date of publication may be specified.

In zoology

"Patella vulgata Linnaeus, 1758". The name "Linnaeus" tells the reader who it was
that first published a description and name for this species of limpet; 1758 is the date of the
publication in which the original description can be found (in this case the 10th edition of the
book Systema Naturae).

"Passer domesticus (Linnaeus, 1758)". The original name given by Linnaeus

was Fringilla domestica; the parentheses indicate that the species is now considered to
belong in a different genus. The ICZN does not require that the name of the person who
changed the genus be given, nor the date on which the change was made, although
nomenclatorial catalogs usually include such information.

In botany

"Amaranthus retroflexus L." "L." is the standard abbreviation used in botany for

Barack Obama
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Barack" and "Obama" redirect here. For other uses, see Barack (disambiguation) and Obama

Barack Obama
44th President of the United States

In office

January 20, 2009 January 20, 2017

Vice President Joe Biden

Preceded by George W. Bush

Succeeded by Donald Trump

United States Senator

from Illinois

In office

January 3, 2005 November 16, 2008

Preceded by Peter Fitzgerald

Succeeded by Roland Burris

Member of the Illinois Senate

from the 13th district

In office

January 8, 1997 November 4, 2004

Preceded by Alice Palmer

Succeeded by Kwame Raoul

Personal details

Born Barack Hussein Obama II

August 4, 1961 (age 55)

Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.

Political party Democratic

Spouse(s) Michelle Robinson (m. 1992)



Parents Barack Obama Sr.

Ann Dunham

Relatives Maya Soetoro (half-sister)

Occidental College

Columbia University (BA)

Harvard University (JD)

Awards Nobel Peace Prize (2009)

Organizing for Action

Obama Foundation

The White House (Archived)

This article is part of

a series about
Barack Obama

Political positions
Electoral history

Early life and career

Public image

Illinois State Senator

U.S. Senator from Illinois

44th President of the United States


Climate change
Foreign policy
o Obama Doctrine
o Foreign trips



First term

Campaign for the Presidency

2008 General election
1st inauguration
First 100 days
Affordable Care Act
Iraq Withdrawal
Death of Osama bin Laden

Timeline: '09

Second term

Reelection campaign
2012 General election
2nd inauguration
Immigration executive action
Iran Deal
Cuban Thaw

Timeline: '13

The Audacity of Hope

Planned Library
Nobel Peace Prize


Part of a series on

New Democrats




Politics portal


Barack Hussein Obama II (US /brk husen obm/ b-RAHK hoo-SAYN oh-BAH-m;[1]

born August 4, 1961) is an American politician who served as the 44th President of the United
States from 2009 to 2017. He was the first African American to serve as president, as well as the
first born outside the contiguous United States. He previously served in the U.S.
Senate representing Illinois from 2005 to 2008, and in the Illinois State Senate from 1997 to 2004.
Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, two years after the territory was admitted to the Union as the
50th state. He grew up mostly in Hawaii, but also spent one year of his childhood in Washington
State and four years in Indonesia. After graduating from Columbia University in 1983, he worked as
a community organizer in Chicago. In 1988 Obama enrolled in Harvard Law School, where he was
the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduation he became a civil
rights attorney and professor, teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law
School from 1992 to 2004. Obama represented the 13th District for three terms in the Illinois
Senate from 1997 to 2004, when he ran for the U.S. Senate. Obama received national attention in
2004, with his unexpected March primary win, his well-received July Democratic National
Convention keynote address, and his landslide November election to the Senate. In 2008, Obama
was nominated for president, a year after his campaign began, and after a close primary
campaign against Hillary Clinton. He became president-elect after
defeating Republican nominee John McCain in the general election, and was inaugurated on
January 20. Nine months later, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
During his first two years in office, Obama signed more landmark legislation than any Democratic
president since LBJ's Great Society. Main reforms were the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act, often referred to as "Obamacare"; the DoddFrank Wall Street Reform and Consumer
Protection Act; and the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010. The American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act of 2009 and Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job
Creation Act of 2010 served as economic stimulus amidst the Great Recession, but the GOP
regained control of the House of Representatives in 2011. After a lengthy debate over the
national debt limit, Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the American Taxpayer Relief
Act of 2012. In foreign policy, Obama increased U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, reduced nuclear
weapons with the U.S.-Russian New START treaty, and ended military involvement in the Iraq War.
He ordered military involvement in Libya in opposition to Muammar Gaddafi, and the military
operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.
After winning re-election over Mitt Romney, Obama was sworn in for a second term in 2013. During
his second term, Obama promoted greater inclusiveness for LGBT Americans, with his
administration filing briefs that urged th

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the country. For other uses, see Brazil (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 10S 52W

Federative Republic of Brazil

Repblica Federativa do Brasil

Flag Coat of arms

Ordem e Progresso (Portuguese)

(English: "Order and Progress")


Hino Nacional Brasileiro

(English: "Brazilian National Anthem")



Flag anthem:

Hino Bandeira Nacional[1]

(English: "National Flag Anthem")



National seal

Selo Nacional do Brasil

National Seal of Brazil

Capital Braslia
1547S 4752W

Largest city So Paulo

2333S 4638W

Official languages Portuguese, English [2][3]

Ethnic groups(2010[4])
47.73% White

43.13% Pardo

7.61% Black

1.09% Asian

0.43% Amerindian

64.6% Roman

22.2% Protestantism
8.0% No religion

2.0% Spiritism

3.2% Others[5]

Demonym Brazilian

Government Federal presidentialconstitutional


President Michel Temer

Vice President Vacant[6]
President of the Rodrigo Maia
Chamber of Deputies
President of the Federal Euncio Oliveira
President of the Supreme Crmen Lcia
Federal Court

Legislature National Congress

Upper house Federal Senate

Lower house Chamber of Deputies

Independence from the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the

Declared 7 September 1822
Recognized 29 August 1825
Republic 15 November 1889
Current constitution 5 October 1988

Total 8,515,767 km2(3,287,956 sq mi)
Water (%) 0.65

2016 estimate 206,440,850[7] (5th)
Density 23.8/km2 (61.6/sq mi) (190th)

GDP (PPP) 2016 estimate

Total $3.101 trillion (7th)
Per capita $15,048[8] (77th)
GDP (nominal) 2016 estimate
Total $1.534 trillion (9th)
Per capita $7,447[8] (69th)

Gini (2014) 51.5[9]


HDI (2014) 0.755[10]

high 75th

Currency Real (R$) (BRL)

Time zone BRT (UTC2 to 5)

Summer (DST) BRST (UTC2 to 5)

Date format dd/mm/yyyy (CE)

Drives on the right

Calling code +55

ISO 3166 code BR

Internet TLD .br

Brazil ( /brzl/; Portuguese: Brasil [baziw][11]), officially the Federative Republic of


Brazil (Portuguese: Repblica Federativa do Brasil, listen (helpinfo)[12]), is the largest country in
both South America and Latin America. As the world's fifth-largest country by
both area and population, it is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the
only one in the Americas.[13][14] Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of
7,491 km (4,655 mi).[15] It borders all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile and
covers 47.3% of the continent's land area.[16] Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest,
home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, and extensive natural resources spanning
numerous protected habitats.[15] This unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of
17 megadiverse countries, and is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding
deforestation and environmental protection.
Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro
lvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese
colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. In
1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of
Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of
the Empire of Brazil, a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary
system. The ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature,
now called the National Congress. The country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a
military coup d'tat. An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, after
which civilian governance resumed. Brazil's current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as
a democratic federal republic.[17] The federation is composed of the union of the Federal District, the
26 states, and the 5,570 municipalities.
Brazil's economy is the world's ninth-largest by nominal GDP and seventh-largest by GDP (PPP) as
of 2015.[18][19] A member of the BRICS group, Brazil until 2010 had one of the world's fastest growing
major economies, with its economic reforms giving the country new international recognition and
influence.[20] Brazil's national development bank plays an important role for the country's economic
growth.[21] Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations,
the G20, BRICS, Unasul, Mercosul, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-
American States, CPLP, and the Latin Union. Brazil is a regional power in Latin America and
a middle power in international affairs,[22] with some analysts identifying it as an emerging global
power.[23]One of the world's major breadbaskets, Brazil has been the largest producer of coffee for
the last 150 years.[24]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Butterfly (disambiguation).

Temporal range: Palaeocene-

Recent, 560 Ma



Papilio machaon

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Lepidoptera

Suborder: Rhopalocera


Superfamily Hedyloidea:


Superfamily Hesperioide


Superfamily Papilionoide






Butterflies are insects in the clade Rhopalocera from the order Lepidoptera, which also
includes moths. Adult butterflies have large, often brightly coloured wings, and conspicuous,
fluttering flight. The group comprises the large superfamily Papilionoidea, along with two smaller
groups, the skippers (superfamily Hesperioidea) and the moth-butterflies (superfamily Hedyloidea).
Butterfly fossils date to the Palaeocene, about 56 million years ago.
Butterflies have the typical four-stage insect life cycle. Winged adults lay eggs on the food plant on
which their larvae, known as caterpillars, will feed. The caterpillars grow, sometimes very rapidly, and
when fully developed, pupate in a chrysalis. When metamorphosis is complete, the pupal skin splits,
the adult insect climbs out, and after its wings have expanded and dried, it flies off. Some butterflies,
especially in the tropics, have several generations in a year, while others have a single generation,
and a few in cold locations may take several years to pass through their whole life cycle.
Butterflies are often polymorphic, and many species make use
of camouflage, mimicry and aposematism to evade their predators. Some, like the monarch and
the painted lady, migrate over long distances. Many butterflies are attacked
by parasites or parasitoids, including wasps, protozoans, flies, and other invertebrates, or are preyed
upon by other organisms. Some species are pests because in their larval stages they can damage
domestic crops or trees; other species are agents of pollination of some plants. Larvae of a few
butterflies (e.g., harvesters) eat harmful insects, and a few are predators of ants, while others live
as mutualists in association with ants. Culturally, butterflies are a popular motif in the visual and
literary arts.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with Termit, Thermite, or Turmite.
This article is about social insects. For other uses, see Termite (disambiguation).

Temporal range: 2510 Ma



Late Permian Recent

Formosan subterranean

termite (Coptotermes formosanus)

Soldiers (red-coloured heads)

Workers (pale-coloured heads)

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Blattodea

Infraorder: Isoptera



Termites are eusocial insects that are classified at the taxonomic rank of infraorder Isoptera, or
as epifamily Termitoidae within the cockroach order Blattodea. Termites were once classified in a
separate order from cockroaches, but recent phylogenetic studies indicate that they evolved from
close ancestors of cockroaches during the Jurassic or Triassic. However, the first termites possibly
emerged during the Permian or even the Carboniferous. About 3,106 species are currently
described, with a few hundred more left to be described. Although these insects are often called
white ants, they are not ants.
Like ants and some bees and wasps from the separate order Hymenoptera, termites divide labour
among castes consisting of sterile male and female "workers" and "soldiers". All colonies have fertile
males called "kings" and one or more fertile females called "queens". Termites mostly feed on dead
plant material and cellulose, generally in the form of wood, leaf litter, soil, or animal dung. Termites
are major detritivores, particularly in the subtropical and tropical regions, and their recycling of wood
and plant matter is of considerable ecological importance.
Termites are among the most successful groups of insects on Earth, colonising most landmasses
except for Antarctica. Their colonies range in size from a few hundred individuals to enormous
societies with several million individuals. Termite queens have the longest lifespan of any insect in
the world, with some queens reportedly living up to 30 to 50 years. Unlike ants, which undergo a
complete metamorphosis, each individual termite goes through an incomplete metamorphosis that
proceeds through egg, nymph, and adult stages. Colonies are described
as superorganisms because the termites form part of a self-regulating entity: the colony itself. [1]
Termites are a delicacy in the diet of some human cultures and are used in many traditional
medicines. Several hundred species are economically significant as pests that can cause serious
damage to buildings, crops, or plantation forests. Some species, such as the West Indian drywood
termite (Cryptotermes brevis), are regarded as invasive species.



2Taxonomy and evolution

3Distribution and diversity


o 4.1Caste system

5Life cycle

o 5.1Reproduction

6Behaviour and ecology

o 6.1Diet

o 6.2Predators

o 6.3Parasites, pathogens and viruses

o 6.4Locomotion and foraging

o 6.5Competition

o 6.6Communication

o 6.7Defence

o 6.8Relationship with other organisms

o 7.1Mounds

o 7.2Shelter tubes

8Relationship with humans

o 8.1As pests

o 8.2As food

o 8.3In agriculture

o 8.4In science and technology

o 8.5In culture

9See also



o 11.1Cited literature

12External links

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Ant (disambiguation).

Temporal range: 1000 Ma




Cenomanian Recent

A group of Fire ants.

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Insecta

Order: Hymenoptera
Superfamily: Vespoidea

Family: Formicidae
Latreille, 1809

Type species

Formica rufa
Linnaeus, 1761



Amblyoponinae (incl.










Myrmeciinae (incl.







Cladogram of
subfamilies [show]

Ants are eusocial insects of the family Formicidae and, along with the related wasps and bees,
belong to the order Hymenoptera. Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the Cretaceous period,
about 99 million years ago and diversified after the rise of flowering plants. More than 12,500 of an
estimated total of 22,000 species have been classified.[4][5] They are easily identified by their elbowed
antennae and the distinctive node-like structure that forms their slender waists.
Ants form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural
cavities to highly organised colonies that may occupy large territories and consist of millions of
individuals. Larger colonies consist mostly of sterile, wingless females forming castes of "workers",
"soldiers", or other specialised groups. Nearly all ant colonies also have some fertile males called
"drones" and one or more fertile females called "queens". The colonies are described
as superorganisms because the ants appear to operate as a unified entity, collectively working
together to support the colony.[6][7]

(video) Ants gathering food

Ants have colonised almost every landmass on Earth. The only places lacking indigenous ants
are Antarctica and a few remote or inhospitable islands. Ants thrive in most ecosystems and may
form 1525% of the terrestrial animal biomass.[8] Their success in so many environments has been
attributed to their social organisation and their ability to modify habitats, tap resources, and defend
themselves. Their long co-evolution with other species has led to mimetic, commensal, parasitic,
and mutualistic relationships.[9]
Ant societies have division of labour, communication between individuals, and an ability to solve
complex problems.[10] These parallels with human societies have long been an inspiration and subject
of study. Many human cultures make use of ants in cuisine, medication, and rituals. Some species
are valued in their role as biological pest control agents.[11] Their ability to exploit resources may bring
ants into conflict with humans, however, as they can damage crops and invade buildings. Some
species, such as the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta), are regarded as invasive species,
establishing themselves in areas where they have been introduced accidentally.[12]



2Taxonomy and evolution

3Distribution and diversity


o 4.1Head

o 4.2Legs

o 4.3Wings

o 4.4Metasoma

o 4.5Polymorphism

5Life cycle

o 5.1Reproduction

6Behaviour and ecology

o 6.1Communication

o 6.2Defence

o 6.3Learning

o 6.4Nest construction

o 6.5Cultivation of food

o 6.6Navigation
o 6.7Locomotion

o 6.8Cooperation and competition

o 6.9Relationships with other organisms

7Relationship with humans

o 7.1As food

o 7.2As pests

o 7.3In science and technology

o 7.4In culture

8See also


o 9.1Cited texts

10Further reading

11External links

The word "ant" is derived from ante, emete of Middle English which are derived from mette of Old
English, and is related to the dialectal Dutch emt and the Old High German meiza, hence the
modern German Ameise. All of these words come from West Germanic *maitij, and the original
meaning of the word was "the biter" (from Proto-Germanic *ai-, "off, away" + *mait- "cut").[13][14] The
family name Formicidae is derived from the Latin formca ("ant")[15] from which the words in
other Romance languages, such as the Portuguese formiga, Italian formica, Spanish hormiga,
Romanian furnic, and French fourmi are derived. It has been hypothesised that a Proto-Indo-
European word *morwi- was used, cf. Sanskrit vamrah, Latin formca, Greek mrmx, Old
Church Slavonic mraviji, Old Irish moirb, Old Norse maurr, Dutch mier.[16]

Taxonomy and evolution

Ants fossilised in Baltic amber









Phylogenetic position of the Formicidae.[17]

The family Formicidae belongs to the order Hymenoptera, which also includes sawflies, bees,
and wasps. Ants evolved from a lineage within the aculeate wasps, and a 2013 study suggests that
they are a sister group of the Apoidea.[17] In 1966, E. O. Wilson and his colleagues identified
the fossil remains of an ant (Sphecomyrma) that lived in the Cretaceous period. The specimen,
trapped in amber dating back to around 92 million years ago, has features found in some wasps, but
not found in modern ants.[18] Sphecomyrma possibly was a ground forager,
while Haidomyrmex and Haidomyrmodes, related genera in subfamily Sphecomyrminae, are
reconstructed as active arboreal predators.[19] Older ants in the genus Sphecomyrmodes have been
found in 99 million year-old amber from Myanmar.[20][21] After the rise of flowering plants about
100 million years ago they diversified and assumed ecological dominance around 60 million years
ago.[22][23][24][25] Some groups, such as the Leptanillinae and Martialinae, are suggested to have
diversified from early primitive ants that were likely to have been predators underneath the surface of
the soil.[2][26]
During the Cretaceous period, a few species of primitive ants ranged widely on
the Laurasian supercontinent (the Northern Hemisphere). They were scarce in comparison to the
populations of other insects, representing only about 1% of the entire insect population. Ants
became dominant after adaptive radiation at the beginning of the Paleogene period. By
the Oligocene and Miocene, ants had come to represent 2040% of all insects found in major fossil
deposits. Of the species that lived in the Eocene epoch, around one in 10 genera survive to the
present. Genera surviving today comprise 56% of the genera in Baltic amber fossils (early
Oligocene), and 92% of the genera in Dominican amber fossils (apparently early Miocene).[22][27]
Termites, although sometimes called 'white ants', are not ants. They belong to the sub-
order Isoptera within the order Blattodea. Termites are more closely related
to cockroaches and mantids. Termites are eusocial, but differ greatly in the genetics of reproduction.
The similarity of their social structure to that of ants is attributed to convergent evolution.[28]Velvet
ants look like large ants, but are wingless female wasps.[29][30]

Distribution and diversity

Number of
species [31]

Neotropics 2162

Nearctic 580

Europe 180

Africa 2500

Asia 2080

Melanesia 275

Australia 985

Polynesia 42

Ants are found on all continents except Antarctica, and only a few large islands, such
as Greenland, Iceland, parts of Polynesia and the Hawaiian Islands lack native ant species.[32][33] Ants
occupy a wide range of ecological niches and exploit many different food resources as direct or
indirect herbivores, predators and scavengers. Most ant species are omnivorous generalists, but a
few are specialist feeders. Their ecological dominance is demonstrated by their biomass: ants are
estimated to contribute 1520 % (on average and nearly 25% in the tropics) of terrestrial animal
biomass, exceeding that of the vertebrates.[8]
Ants range in size from 0.75 to 52 millimetres (0.0302.0 in),[34][35] the largest species being the
fossil Titanomyrma giganteum, the queen of which was 6 centimetres (2.4 in) long with a wingspan
of 15 centimetres (5.9 in).[36] Ants vary in colour; most ants are red or black, but a few species are
green and some tropical species have a metallic lustre. More than 12,000 species are currently
known (with upper estimates of the potential existence of about 22,000) (see the article List of ant
genera), with the greatest diversity in the tropics. Taxonomic studies continue to resolve the
classification and systematics of ants. Online databases of ant species, including AntBase and the
Hymenoptera Name Server, help to keep track of the known and newly described species. [37] The
relative ease with which ants may be sampled and studied in ecosystems has made them useful
as indicator species in biodiversity studies.[38][39]
Ants are distinct in their morphology from other insects in having elbowed antennae, metapleural
glands, and a strong constriction of their second abdominal segment into a node-like petiole. The
head, mesosoma, and metasoma are the three distinct body segments. The petiole forms a narrow
waist between their mesosoma (thorax plus the first abdominal segment, which is fused to it)
and gaster (abdomen less the abdominal segments in the petiole). The petiole may be formed by
one or two nodes (the second alone, or the second and third abdominal segments). [40]

Bull ant showing the powerful mandibles and the relatively large compound eyes that provide excellent vision

Like other insects, ants have an exoskeleton, an external covering that provides a protective casing
around the body and a point of attachment for muscles, in contrast to the internal skeletons of
humans and other vertebrates. Insects do not have lungs; oxygen and other gases, such as carbon
dioxide, pass through their exoskeleton via tiny valves called spiracles. Insects also lack closed
blood vessels; instead, they have a long, thin, perforated tube along the top of the body (called the
"dorsal aorta") that functions like a heart, and pumps haemolymph toward the head, thus driving the
circulation of the internal fluids. The nervous system consists of a ventral nerve cord that runs the
length of the body, with several ganglia and branches along the way reaching into the extremities of
the appendages.[4