Here is how many ants there are on Earth according to scientists, the number is impressive

Author: Clark Tos
2022-09-21 17:43:35

Researchers from the University of Würzburg, Germany, have estimated the number of ants on our planet. Their observation is impressive, the ants would be 20 times more numerous than stipulated by previous studies.

Credit: Antrey/iStock

According to the study by Würzburg researchers published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , Monday, September 19, there would be approximately 20 quadrillion ants on Earth at all times. That's 20,000 trillion people.

« We were very surprised at the large number of ants we found. We had next to no expectations because the numbers that had been circulating in the scientific literature before were basically educated guesses, and they had very little empirical data to work with. And this is therefore the novelty of our study because we have synthesized the data of many empirical studies “said Sabine S. Nooten, insect specialist and researcher and co-author of the study at the microphone of CNN .

The data found by Sabine S. Nooten and her team are quite different from the previous global study conducted by biologists Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson. The latter had estimated that the world population of ants represented 1 quintillion individuals, or 1% of the world population of insects (between 1 and 10 quadrillion).

Insects present in large numbers in tropical forests

Credit: Sergei Loginov/iStock

To arrive at this figure, the team of researchers tried to estimate the number of ants living on the ground in tropical and subtropical regions, such as in South America, where they are present as a result. They arrived at the figure of 3 quadrillion.

According to the co-author of the study, Patrick Schultheiss, the exploitation of forests and agriculture could have an impact on the number of ants on Earth.

However, it is impossible to know the exact number of ants on Earth. Adam Hart, professor of science communication at the University of Gloucestershire, England, told CNN this was the most reliable study to date to answer this question: This new study, based on nearly 500 studies around the world, gives us the best answer yet to this tricky question. ».

Adam Hart also points out that ants are important for the biodiversity .