In biology, a species is the basic unit of classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individuals of the appropriate sexes or mating types can produce fertile offspring by sexual reproduction. Other ways of defining species include their karyotype, DNA sequence, behaviour or ecological niche. In addition, paleontologists use the concept of the chronospecies since fossil reproduction cannot be examined. While these definitions may seem adequate, when looked at more they represent problematic species concepts. For example, the boundaries between related species become unclear with hybridisation, in a species complex of hundreds of similar microspecies, in a ring species. Among organisms that reproduce only asexually, the concept of a reproductive species breaks down, each clone is a microspecies. All species are given a two-part name, a "binomial"; the first part of a binomial is the genus.
The second part is called the specific epithet. For example, Boa constrictor is one of four species of the genus Boa. None of these is satisfactory definitions, but scientists and conservationists need a species definition which allows them to work, regardless of the theoretical difficulties. If species were fixed and distinct from one another, there would be no problem, but evolutionary processes cause species to change continually, to grade into one another. Species were seen from the time of Aristotle until the 18th century as fixed kinds that could be arranged in a hierarchy, the great chain of being. In the 19th century, biologists grasped. Charles Darwin's 1859 book The Origin of Species explained how species could arise by natural selection; that understanding was extended in the 20th century through genetics and population ecology. Genetic variability arises from mutations and recombination, while organisms themselves are mobile, leading to geographical isolation and genetic drift with varying selection pressures.
Genes can sometimes be exchanged between species by horizontal gene transfer. Viruses are a special case, driven by a balance of mutation and selection, can be treated as quasispecies. Biologists and taxonomists have made many attempts to define species, beginning from morphology and moving towards genetics. Early taxonomists such as Linnaeus had no option but to describe what they saw: this was formalised as the typological or morphological species concept. Ernst Mayr emphasised reproductive isolation, but this, like other species concepts, is hard or impossible to test. Biologists have tried to refine Mayr's definition with the recognition and cohesion concepts, among others. Many of the concepts are quite similar or overlap, so they are not easy to count: the biologist R. L. Mayden recorded about 24 concepts, the philosopher of science John Wilkins counted 26. Wilkins further grouped the species concepts into seven basic kinds of concepts: agamospecies for asexual organisms biospecies for reproductively isolated sexual organisms ecospecies based on ecological niches evolutionary species based on lineage genetic species based on gene pool morphospecies based on form or phenotype and taxonomic species, a species as determined by a taxonomist.
A typological species is a group of organisms in which individuals conform to certain fixed properties, so that pre-literate people recognise the same taxon as do modern taxonomists. The clusters of variations or phenotypes within specimens would differentiate the species; this method was used as a "classical" method of determining species, such as with Linnaeus early in evolutionary theory. However, different phenotypes are not different species. Species named in this manner are called morphospecies. In the 1970s, Robert R. Sokal, Theodore J. Crovello and Peter Sneath proposed a variation on this, a phenetic species, defined as a set of organisms with a similar phenotype to each other, but a different phenotype from other sets of organisms, it differs from the morphological species concept in including a numerical measure of distance or similarity to cluster entities based on multivariate comparisons of a reasonably large number of phenotypic traits. A mate-recognition species is a group of sexually reproducing organisms that recognize one another as potential mates.
Expanding on this to allow for post-mating isolation, a cohesion species is the most inclusive population of individuals having the potential for phenotypic cohesion through intrinsic cohesion mechanisms. A further development of the recognition concept is provided by the biosemiotic concept of species. In microbiology, genes can move even between distantly related bacteria extending to the whole bacterial domain; as a rule of thumb, microbiologists have assumed that kinds of Bacteria or Archaea with 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequences more similar than 97% to each other need to be checked by DNA-DNA hybridisation to decide if they belong to the same species or not. This concept was narrowed in 2006 to a similarity of 98.7%. DNA-DNA hybri
Cladogenesis is an evolutionary splitting of a parent species into two distinct species, forming a clade. This event occurs when a few organisms end up in new distant areas or when environmental changes cause several extinctions, opening up ecological niches for the survivors and causing population bottlenecks and founder effects changing allele frequencies of diverging populations compared to their ancestral population; the events that cause these species to separate from each other over distant areas may still allow both of the species to have equal chances of surviving and evolving to better suit their environments while still being two distinct species due to subsequent natural selection and genetic drift. Cladogenesis is in contrast to anagenesis, in which an ancestral species accumulates change, when enough is accumulated, the species is sufficiently distinct and different enough from its original starting form that it can be labeled as a new form - a new species. Note that with anagenesis the lineage in a phylogenetic tree does not split.
To determine whether a speciation event is cladogenesis or anagenesis, researchers may use simulation, evidence from fossils, molecular evidence from the DNA of different living species, or modelling. It has however been debated whether the distinction between cladogenesis and anagenesis is necessary at all in evolutionary theory. Anagenesis Evolutionary biology Speciation
Tree of life (biology)
The tree of life or universal tree of life is a metaphor and research tool used to explore the evolution of life and describe the relationships between organisms, both living and extinct, as described in a famous passage in Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. The affinities of all the beings of the same class have sometimes been represented by a great tree. I believe this simile speaks the truth. Tree diagrams originated in the medieval era to represent genealogical relationships. Phylogenetic tree diagrams in the evolutionary sense date back to at least the early 19th century; the term phylogeny for the evolutionary relationships of species through time was coined by Ernst Haeckel, who went further than Darwin in proposing phylogenic histories of life. In contemporary usage, tree of life refers to the compilation of comprehensive phylogenetic databases rooted at the last universal common ancestor of life on Earth; the Open Tree of Life, first published 2015, is a project to compile such a database for free public access.
Although the mutability of species may have appeared in paintings and trees have been used as a metaphor for other purposes earlier than 1800, the combination of the concept of branching evolution and the tree image did not appear before 1800. The earliest tree of life was published by the French botanist Augustin Augier in 1801, it shows the relationships between members of the plant kingdom. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck produced the first branching tree of animals in his Philosophie Zoologique, it was an upside-down tree ending with mammals. However, Lamarck did not believe in common descent of all life. Instead, he believed; the American geologist Edward Hitchcock published in 1840 the first tree of life based on paleontology in his Elementary Geology. On the vertical axis are paleontological periods. Hitchcock made a separate tree for animals; the plant and the animal tree are not connected at the bottom of the chart. Furthermore, each tree starts with multiple origins. Hitchcock's tree was more realistic than Darwin's 1859 theoretical tree because Hitchcock used real names in his trees.
It is true that Hitchcock's trees were branching trees. However, they were not evolutionary trees, because Hitchcock believed that a deity was the agent of change; that was an important difference with Darwin. The first edition of Robert Chambers' Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, published anonymously in 1844 in England, contained a tree-like diagram in the chapter "Hypothesis of the development of the vegetable and animal kingdoms", it shows a model of embryological development where fish and birds represent branches from a path leading to mammals. In the text this branching tree idea is tentatively applied to the history of life on earth: "there may be branching", but the branching diagram is not displayed again for this purpose. However, the image of a branching tree could have inspired others to use it explicitly as a representation of the history of life on earth. In 1858, a year before Darwin's Origin, the paleontologist Heinrich Georg Bronn published a hypothetical tree labeled with letters.
Although not a creationist, Bronn did not propose a mechanism of change. Charles Darwin used the concept of a tree of life in the context of his theory of evolution. In On the Origin of Species Chapter IV he presented an abstract diagram of a theoretical tree of life for species of an unnamed large genus. On the horizontal base line hypothetical species within this genus are labelled A – L and are spaced irregularly to indicate how distinct they are from each other, are above broken lines at various angles suggesting that they have diverged from one or more common ancestors. On the vertical axis divisions labelled I – XIV each represent a thousand generations. From A, diverging lines show branching descent producing new varieties, some of which become extinct, so that after ten thousand generations descendants of A have become distinct new varieties or sub-species a10, f10, m10; the descendants of I have diversified to become the new varieties w10 and z10. The process is extrapolated for a further four thousand generations so that the descendants of A and I become fourteen new species labelled a14 to z14.
While F has continued for fourteen thousand generations unchanged, species B,C,D,E,G,H,K and L have gone extinct. In Darwin's own words: "Thus the small differences distinguishing varieties of the same species, will tend to increase till they come to equal the greater differences between species of the same genus, or of distinct genera.". This is a branching pattern with no names given to species, unlike the more linear tree Ernst Haeckel made years which includes the names of species and shows a more linear development from "lower" to "higher" species. In his summary to the section, Darwin put his concept in terms of the metaphor of the tree of life: The affinities of all the beings of the same class have sometimes been represented by a great tree. I believe this simile speaks the truth; the green and budding twigs may represent existing species. At each period of growth all the growing twigs have tried to branch out on all sides, to overtop and kill the surrounding twigs and branches, in the same manner as species and groups of species have tried to overmaster other species in the great battle for life.
The limbs divided into great branches, these into lesser and lesser branches, w
Mammals are vertebrate animals constituting the class Mammalia, characterized by the presence of mammary glands which in females produce milk for feeding their young, a neocortex, fur or hair, three middle ear bones. These characteristics distinguish them from reptiles and birds, from which they diverged in the late Triassic, 201–227 million years ago. There are around 5,450 species of mammals; the largest orders are the rodents and Soricomorpha. The next three are the Primates, the Cetartiodactyla, the Carnivora. In cladistics, which reflect evolution, mammals are classified as endothermic amniotes, they are the only living Synapsida. The early synapsid mammalian ancestors were sphenacodont pelycosaurs, a group that produced the non-mammalian Dimetrodon. At the end of the Carboniferous period around 300 million years ago, this group diverged from the sauropsid line that led to today's reptiles and birds; the line following the stem group Sphenacodontia split off several diverse groups of non-mammalian synapsids—sometimes referred to as mammal-like reptiles—before giving rise to the proto-mammals in the early Mesozoic era.
The modern mammalian orders arose in the Paleogene and Neogene periods of the Cenozoic era, after the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs, have been among the dominant terrestrial animal groups from 66 million years ago to the present. The basic body type is quadruped, most mammals use their four extremities for terrestrial locomotion. Mammals range in size from the 30–40 mm bumblebee bat to the 30-meter blue whale—the largest animal on the planet. Maximum lifespan varies from two years for the shrew to 211 years for the bowhead whale. All modern mammals give birth to live young, except the five species of monotremes, which are egg-laying mammals; the most species-rich group of mammals, the cohort called placentals, have a placenta, which enables the feeding of the fetus during gestation. Most mammals are intelligent, with some possessing large brains, self-awareness, tool use. Mammals can communicate and vocalize in several different ways, including the production of ultrasound, scent-marking, alarm signals and echolocation.
Mammals can organize themselves into fission-fusion societies and hierarchies—but can be solitary and territorial. Most mammals are polygynous. Domestication of many types of mammals by humans played a major role in the Neolithic revolution, resulted in farming replacing hunting and gathering as the primary source of food for humans; this led to a major restructuring of human societies from nomadic to sedentary, with more co-operation among larger and larger groups, the development of the first civilizations. Domesticated mammals provided, continue to provide, power for transport and agriculture, as well as food and leather. Mammals are hunted and raced for sport, are used as model organisms in science. Mammals have been depicted in art since Palaeolithic times, appear in literature, film and religion. Decline in numbers and extinction of many mammals is driven by human poaching and habitat destruction deforestation. Mammal classification has been through several iterations since Carl Linnaeus defined the class.
No classification system is universally accepted. George Gaylord Simpson's "Principles of Classification and a Classification of Mammals" provides systematics of mammal origins and relationships that were universally taught until the end of the 20th century. Since Simpson's classification, the paleontological record has been recalibrated, the intervening years have seen much debate and progress concerning the theoretical underpinnings of systematization itself through the new concept of cladistics. Though field work made Simpson's classification outdated, it remains the closest thing to an official classification of mammals. Most mammals, including the six most species-rich orders, belong to the placental group; the three largest orders in numbers of species are Rodentia: mice, porcupines, beavers and other gnawing mammals. The next three biggest orders, depending on the biological classification scheme used, are the Primates including the apes and lemurs. According to Mammal Species of the World, 5,416 species were identified in 2006.
These were grouped into 153 families and 29 orders. In 2008, the International Union for Conservation of Nature completed a five-year Global Mammal Assessment for its IUCN Red List, which counted 5,488 species. According to a research published in the Journal of Mammalogy in 2018, the number of recognized mammal species is 6,495 species included 96 extinct; the word "mammal" is modern, from the scientific name Mammalia coined by Carl Linnaeus in 1758, derived from the Latin mamma. In an influential 1988 paper, Timothy Rowe defined Mammalia phylogenetically as the crown group of mammals, the clade consisting of the most recent common ancestor of living monotremes and therian m
Convergent evolution is the independent evolution of similar features in species of different lineages. Convergent evolution creates analogous structures that have similar form or function but were not present in the last common ancestor of those groups; the cladistic term for the same phenomenon is homoplasy. The recurrent evolution of flight is a classic example, as flying insects, birds and bats have independently evolved the useful capacity of flight. Functionally similar features that have arisen through convergent evolution are analogous, whereas homologous structures or traits have a common origin but can have dissimilar functions. Bird and pterosaur wings are analogous structures, but their forelimbs are homologous, sharing an ancestral state despite serving different functions; the opposite of convergence is divergent evolution. Convergent evolution is similar to parallel evolution, which occurs when two independent species evolve in the same direction and thus independently acquire similar characteristics.
Many instances of convergent evolution are known in plants, including the repeated development of C4 photosynthesis, seed dispersal by fleshy fruits adapted to be eaten by animals, carnivory. In morphology, analogous traits arise when different species live in similar ways and/or a similar environment, so face the same environmental factors; when occupying similar ecological niches similar problems can lead to similar solutions. The British anatomist Richard Owen was the first to identify the fundamental difference between analogies and homologies. In biochemistry and chemical constraints on mechanisms have caused some active site arrangements such as the catalytic triad to evolve independently in separate enzyme superfamilies. In his 1989 book Wonderful Life, Stephen Jay Gould argued that if one could "rewind the tape of life the same conditions were encountered again, evolution could take a different course". Simon Conway Morris disputes this conclusion, arguing that convergence is a dominant force in evolution, given that the same environmental and physical constraints are at work, life will evolve toward an "optimum" body plan, at some point, evolution is bound to stumble upon intelligence, a trait presently identified with at least primates and cetaceans.
In cladistics, a homoplasy is a trait shared by two or more taxa for any reason other than that they share a common ancestry. Taxa which do share ancestry are part of the same clade. Homoplastic traits caused by convergence are therefore, from the point of view of cladistics, confounding factors which could lead to an incorrect analysis. In some cases, it is difficult to tell whether a trait has been lost and re-evolved convergently, or whether a gene has been switched off and re-enabled later; such a re-emerged trait is called an atavism. From a mathematical standpoint, an unused gene has a decreasing probability of retaining potential functionality over time; the time scale of this process varies in different phylogenies. When two species are similar in a particular character, evolution is defined as parallel if the ancestors were similar, convergent if they were not; some scientists have argued that there is a continuum between parallel and convergent evolution, while others maintain that despite some overlap, there are still important distinctions between the two.
When the ancestral forms are unspecified or unknown, or the range of traits considered is not specified, the distinction between parallel and convergent evolution becomes more subjective. For instance, the striking example of similar placental and marsupial forms is described by Richard Dawkins in The Blind Watchmaker as a case of convergent evolution, because mammals on each continent had a long evolutionary history prior to the extinction of the dinosaurs under which to accumulate relevant differences; the enzymology of proteases provides some of the clearest examples of convergent evolution. These examples reflect the intrinsic chemical constraints on enzymes, leading evolution to converge on equivalent solutions independently and repeatedly. Serine and cysteine proteases use different amino acid functional groups as a nucleophile. In order to activate that nucleophile, they orient an acidic and a basic residue in a catalytic triad; the chemical and physical constraints on enzyme catalysis have caused identical triad arrangements to evolve independently more than 20 times in different enzyme superfamilies.
Threonine proteases use the amino acid threonine as their catalytic nucleophile. Unlike cysteine and serine, threonine is a secondary alcohol; the methyl group of threonine restricts the possible orientations of triad and substrate, as the methyl clashes with either the enzyme backbone or the histidine base. Most threonine proteases use an N-terminal threonine in order to avoid such steric clashes. Several evolutionarily independent enzyme superfamilies with different protein folds use the N-terminal residue as a nucleophile; this commonality of active site but difference of protein fold indicates that the active site evolved convergently in those families. Convergence occurs at the level of DNA and the amino acid sequences produced by translating structural genes into proteins. Studies have found convergence in amino acid sequenc
Insects or Insecta are hexapod invertebrates and the largest group within the arthropod phylum. Definitions and circumscriptions vary; as used here, the term Insecta is synonymous with Ectognatha. Insects have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body, three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes and one pair of antennae. Insects are the most diverse group of animals; the total number of extant species is estimated at between ten million. Insects may be found in nearly all environments, although only a small number of species reside in the oceans, which are dominated by another arthropod group, crustaceans. Nearly all insects hatch from eggs. Insect growth is constrained by the inelastic exoskeleton and development involves a series of molts; the immature stages differ from the adults in structure and habitat, can include a passive pupal stage in those groups that undergo four-stage metamorphosis. Insects that undergo three-stage metamorphosis lack a pupal stage and adults develop through a series of nymphal stages.
The higher level relationship of the insects is unclear. Fossilized insects of enormous size have been found from the Paleozoic Era, including giant dragonflies with wingspans of 55 to 70 cm; the most diverse insect groups appear to have coevolved with flowering plants. Adult insects move about by walking, flying, or sometimes swimming; as it allows for rapid yet stable movement, many insects adopt a tripedal gait in which they walk with their legs touching the ground in alternating triangles, composed of the front & rear on one side with the middle on the other side. Insects are the only invertebrates to have evolved flight, all flying insects derive from one common ancestor. Many insects spend at least part of their lives under water, with larval adaptations that include gills, some adult insects are aquatic and have adaptations for swimming; some species, such as water striders, are capable of walking on the surface of water. Insects are solitary, but some, such as certain bees and termites, are social and live in large, well-organized colonies.
Some insects, such as earwigs, show maternal care, guarding their eggs and young. Insects can communicate with each other in a variety of ways. Male moths can sense the pheromones of female moths over great distances. Other species communicate with sounds: crickets stridulate, or rub their wings together, to attract a mate and repel other males. Lampyrid beetles communicate with light. Humans regard certain insects as pests, attempt to control them using insecticides, a host of other techniques; some insects damage crops by feeding on sap, fruits, or wood. Some species are parasitic, may vector diseases; some insects perform complex ecological roles. Insect pollinators are essential to the life cycle of many flowering plant species on which most organisms, including humans, are at least dependent. Many insects are considered ecologically beneficial as predators and a few provide direct economic benefit. Silkworms produce silk and honey bees produce honey and both have been domesticated by humans.
Insects are consumed as food in 80% of the world's nations, by people in 3000 ethnic groups. Human activities have effects on insect biodiversity; the word "insect" comes from the Latin word insectum, meaning "with a notched or divided body", or "cut into", from the neuter singular perfect passive participle of insectare, "to cut into, to cut up", from in- "into" and secare "to cut". A calque of Greek ἔντομον, "cut into sections", Pliny the Elder introduced the Latin designation as a loan-translation of the Greek word ἔντομος or "insect", Aristotle's term for this class of life in reference to their "notched" bodies. "Insect" first appears documented in English in 1601 in Holland's translation of Pliny. Translations of Aristotle's term form the usual word for "insect" in Welsh, Serbo-Croatian, etc; the precise definition of the taxon Insecta and the equivalent English name "insect" varies. In the broadest circumscription, Insecta sensu lato consists of all hexapods. Traditionally, insects defined in this way were divided into "Apterygota" —the wingless insects—and Pterygota—the winged insects.
However, modern phylogenetic studies have shown that "Apterygota" is not monophyletic, so does not form a good taxon. A narrower circumscription restricts insects to those hexapods with external mouthparts, comprises only the last three groups in the table. In this sense, Insecta sensu stricto is equivalent to Ectognatha. In the narrowest circumscription, insects are restricted to hexapods that are either winged or descended from winged ancestors. Insecta sensu strictissimo is equivalent to Pterygota. For the purposes of this article, the middle definition is used; the evolutionary relationship of insects to other animal groups remains unclear. Although traditionally grouped with millipedes and centiped
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 140 million years ago, diversified after the rise of flowering plants. More than 12,500 of an estimated total of 22,000 species have been classified, they are 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 organised colonies that may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals. Larger colonies consist of various castes of sterile, wingless females, most of which are workers, as well as soldiers and other specialised groups. Nearly all ant colonies 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.
Ants have colonised every landmass on Earth. The only places lacking indigenous ants are a few remote or inhospitable islands. Ants thrive in most ecosystems and may form 15–25% of the terrestrial animal biomass, their success in so many environments has been attributed to their social organisation and their ability to modify habitats, tap resources, defend themselves. Their long co-evolution with other species has led to mimetic, commensal and mutualistic relationships. Ant societies have division of labour, communication between individuals, an ability to solve complex problems; these parallels with human societies have long been an subject of study. Many human cultures make use of ants in cuisine and rituals; some species are valued in their role as biological pest control agents. 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, are regarded as invasive species, establishing themselves in areas where they have been introduced accidentally.
The word ant and its chiefly dialectal form emmet come from ante, emete of Middle English, which come from ǣmette of Old English, these are all related to the dialectal Dutch emt and the Old High German āmeiza, from which comes the modern German Ameise. All of these words come from West Germanic *ēmaitijǭ, the original meaning of the word was "the biter"; the family name Formicidae is derived from the Latin formīca from which the words in other Romance languages, such as the Portuguese formiga, Italian formica, Spanish hormiga, Romanian furnică, French fourmi are derived. It has been hypothesised that a Proto-Indo-European word *morwi- was used, cf. Sanskrit vamrah, Latin formīca, Greek μύρμηξ mýrmēx, Old Church Slavonic mraviji, Old Irish moirb, Old Norse maurr, Dutch mier; the family Formicidae belongs to the order Hymenoptera, which includes sawflies and wasps. Ants evolved from a lineage within the stinging wasps, a 2013 study suggests that they are a sister group of the Apoidea. In 1966, E. O. Wilson and his colleagues identified the fossil remains of an ant 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. Sphecomyrma was a ground forager, while Haidomyrmex and Haidomyrmodes, related genera in subfamily Sphecomyrminae, are reconstructed as active arboreal predators. Older ants in the genus Sphecomyrmodes have been found in 99 million year-old amber from Myanmar. A 2006 study suggested that ants arose tens of millions of years earlier than thought, up to 168 million years ago. After the rise of flowering plants about 100 million years ago they diversified and assumed ecological dominance around 60 million years ago; some groups, such as the Leptanillinae and Martialinae, are suggested to have diversified from early primitive ants that were to have been predators underneath the surface of the soil. During the Cretaceous period, a few species of primitive ants ranged on the Laurasian supercontinent, 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 20–40% 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, 92% of the genera in Dominican amber fossils. Termites live in colonies and are sometimes called ` white ants', they are the sub-order Isoptera, together with cockroaches they form the order Blattodea. Blattodeans are related to mantids and other winged insects that do not undergo full metamorphosis. Like ants, termites are eusocial, with sterile workers, but they differ in the genetics of reproduction; the similarity of their social structure to that of ants is attributed to convergent evolution. Velvet ants are wingless female wasps. Ants are found on all continents except Antarctica, only a few large islands, such as Greenland, parts of Polynesia and the Hawaiian Islands lack native ant species.
Ants occupy a wide range of ecological niches and exploit many different food resources as direct or