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How big can ants grow?

How big can ants grow?
Mollie Evans from Carmarthenshire (Age 5-14)

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One Response

  1. Not as big as some Hollywood films have portrayed. The largest ants are about 25 mm long; the biggest in Britain are about 15mm. There are two reasons why insects cannot grow to a really big size. They have a relatively inefficient breathing system that relies on air travelling along a series of tubes called trachea that run through an insect’s body. This works OK for small animals but cannot deliver enough air to support a large animal. Insects, unlike mammals and birds, have no internal skeleton. They have a hard outer body shell that contains the internal organs and also provides places for muscle attachment. This external skeleton is a significant part of an insect’s body weight; a man-sized insect would have such a heavy external skeleton that it would not be able to move.

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