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What are some facts about army ants?

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Quick Answer

Army ants are very aggressive and travel in large colonies of up to 2 million individuals. They mostly live in warm, tropical forests in Brazil, Peru and Mexico.

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When army ants travel, or "raid," they move with such speed and in such large numbers that they can be heard traveling across a forest. Army ants can travel up to 20 meters per hour, and colonies typically cover at least 100 meters of ground during raiding days, killing everything in their path. There are more than 200 species of army ants, and they migrate from one nest to the next, unlike other ants. They are able to digest almost any other animal species, but mostly feed on other insects and invertebrates that aren't able to get out of their way quickly enough. Army ants link up with one another to form nests when they are not on the move. Each army ant is born with large mandibles that allow it to tear the flesh of its prey and carry food back to its nest. Because they are blind, they must locate their prey by sensing movement. An army ant has a lifespan of three to 13 months, except for the queen, who can live up to several years.

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