Bugs

Can Ants Live Without Oxygen?

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by Heather Byron

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On my website, I usually create topics that are about big animals, like lions, tigers, panthers, dogs, and cats. I rarely talk about insects. Not just small, but tiny. But today, I will talk about ants. 

Ants are tiny insects that we can see inside our houses, forest, shopping malls, etc. In fact, there are ants in every corner of this world! The reason why is because ants help the ecosystem. Ants are the ones that clean the food or dirt that is on the floor or table. They are the ones who clean every dirt in this world. 

So, can ants live without oxygen? No! Every living thing in this world cannot live without oxygen. We all need oxygen, even ants! However, ants don’t get out of breath because ants don’t use their lungs to breathe. Ants take oxygen through openings in their abdomens called “spiracles” which allow sufficient oxygen. In short, ants cannot live without oxygen but they can hold their breath long. 

Today, we will talk about ants. I will explain better to you how ants breathe and how ants take oxygen inside their bodies. Also, I will answer various questions related to our subject. So, if you are ready, let us proceed!

How Long Can Ants Live Without Oxygen?

To be clear, ants cannot live without oxygen. However, they can inhale too much oxygen and store it inside them. So, how long can ants live without oxygen? 

How long can ants live without oxygen? As I have said, ants cannot live without oxygen but they can live without breathing always because ants can store enough oxygen inside their body for them to function. Ants can hold their breath for 24 hours. 

When ants fall into the water, ants don’t necessarily hold their breath to avoid water getting inside them. Ants close their spiracles to avoid that. It means that no oxygen can enter their body. But ants can store oxygen inside them and they can survive in one day by doing this. So, if ants fall into the water, they have enough oxygen inside them so that they can freely close their spiracles.

Do Ants Get Out Of Breath?

No! Ants can’t get out of breath because ants don’t have lungs like mammals to create breath in the first place. Ants breathe by diffusion of oxygen through their shell. Like most insects, ants take in oxygen through openings in their abdomens called spiracles which allow sufficient oxygen to make them move properly throughout the day. If ants fell under the water, they close their spiracles and use the stored oxygen inside them to breathe.

Can Ants Get Suffocated?

No! You cannot suffocate ants. Ants can survive in water or inside an empty glass for so long, due to air bubbles clinging to their hairs of them. Ants can close the holes and use the oxygen they stored. That is why they can live without inhaling. Ants don’t have lungs. They only have spiracles for breathing.

Can Ants Live Up To 30 Years?

If ants can live without breathing, can they live up to 30 years? Well, the answer to this question depends. It depends on the species of the ant, where the ant lives, and the gender of the ant. Some ants can live up to 30 years, while some cannot. Usually, the queen ants are the ones who can live for so long.

Can Ants Live In A Closed Container?

So, if ants can hold their breath for so long, can ants live in a closed jar where oxygen has no way in? Well, let us find out the answer!

If the jar is airtight and kept somewhere cool, ants can live up to two weeks. If the jar is not airtight and there is moisture in the jar, ants can live inside the closed container for a month or two. It actually depends on the type of ant, temperature, and humidity. 

How Long Do Ants Usually Live?

It really depends on the species of the ant and the gender of the ant. Usually, the queen ants are the ones who live long and the male and worker ants are the ones who live less. Some ants, especially the queen ants, can live up to 30 years. However, some ants, especially worker ants who have a lot of stress because of working, only live one day to two weeks.

Final Verdict

To conclude, ants can live without breathing, not without oxygen. All living things cannot live without oxygen. The reason why ants can live without breathing is that ants can store up oxygen inside them. Ants don’t have lungs. They have spiracles, which can be closed and opened. Before closing their spiracles, ants will store enough oxygen first inside them.

About
Heather Byron
I've been an animal lover for all my life. I'm currently showing that by managing a life-saving center for A New Leash on Life in Huntsville, AL. I love helping dogs and cats in finding their new fur-ever homes. If you are in the area please stop by any one of the 3 locations we have.
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