Written by

David Floyd

David Floyd

Reviewed by

Brett Ehlert

Brett Ehlert

Do Ants Have Hearts? – How Ants Hearts Function

Have you ever pondered if ants possess hearts? And if they do, how do they operate and do they resemble human hearts? The response may surprise you. In this article, we will delve into the anatomy and functionality of an ant’s heart, addressing any curiosities you may have about it.

Do Ants Have Hearts?

Yes, ants have hearts. They are a dorsal vessel, which is an elongated tube that are found in the ant’s abdomen rather than its chest like a human. Similar to a human heart, this dorsal vessel pumps hemolymph, a liquid similar to blood found in insects and other invertebrates, throughout an ant’s body!

do ants have hearts

What Is An Ant’s Heart? (Dorsal Vessel)

Ant’s hearts are technically elongated dorsal vessel, that is a pumping organ that helps to circulate hemolymph throughout the ant’s body. This vessel is located in the abdomen but sometimes can extend into the prothorax in some ants. [1]

The main function of this dorsal vessel is similar to the circulatory systsem in humans, it works to pump hemolymph (similar to blood) throughout the ants body and helps to recycle waste away from the cells and towards the waste removal systems.

How Does An Ant’s Heart Work?

An ants heart functions very similar in concept to humans. The heart and aorta, along with chambers called ostia’s work to ensure the one-way flow of circulatory liquids such as hemolymph.

ants heart

The muscles in the heart and aorta work to push these liquids throughout the body, one chamber at a time, until the liquid reaches all the vital organs and tissues it needs to. Once it reaches the vital organs, it keeps going and completes the cycle.

This process continues throughout the day to keep the organs running properly, similar to a human.

How Are Ants Hearts Different From Humans?

Although ant’s hearts and humans are similar in terms of basic functions, a human’s heart is much more complex.

A Human heart is about the size of your fist and is made up of 4 chambers and multiple valves which help to push blood at the right amounts and timing to all the important pieces of the body.

While an ants dorsal vessel is a simplified version of this and is simply one tube that opens and closes at the right time.

That being said, their function of circulating important life liquids throughout the body is very similar.

What Is An Ants Heart Rate?

It depends on the species of ant, but generally an ant’s heart rate is around 50-60 beats per minute. This can also slow down drastically if the ant is sleeping.

Do Ants Have Blood?

Ants don’t have blood, they have hemolymph which is a circulatory liquid that helps circulate and transport nutrients throughout the ants body to important organs and tissues.

Final Thoughts On Ant’s Hearts

It might be funny to think about an insect as small as an ant having a full-blown heart, but it’s true, ants do have hearts. Although they are different in form than a human heart, their basic function is very similar!

An ant’s heart is designed to transport and circulate an important circulatory liquid called hemolymph (similar to blood) throughout the body and to important organs and tissues.

So if you were ever wondering if ants have hearts, now you know the answer!

Resources:

https://www.ndsu.edu/pubweb/~rider/Pentatomoidea/Teaching%20Structure/Lecture%20Notes/Week%2013a%20Circulatory%20System.pdf

https://askabiologist.asu.edu/explore/ant-anatomy

David Floyd:

David Floyd has 20 years of experience working as a pest control technician as well as running his own pest control company. David is Quality Pro certified and is a certified Structural Pest Control Operator in the state of North Carolina, and the owner of NCPestControlExperts pest control company.

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