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Photo Credit: Gary M. Stolz Although the African elephant is the largest and most powerful of all living land mammals, it is also amo...

Monday, August 29, 2016

Bullet Ant

Photo Credit: Hans Hillewaert
The bullet ant has the reputation of delivering the most painful sting in the insect world. Some even believe that a bullet ant sting might be the most painful sting, period. Amazingly, there's an indigenous tribe in South America that requires young men to endure these stings for 10 minutes at a time — as many as 20 times consecutively — as a rite of passage ritual. Despite the pain, the stings are not fatal and cause no permanent damage, except maybe to the psyche.

The bullet ant is active all over the forest, from the floor to the treetops. It is usually found on lianas and tree trunks close to the ground. This hunting ant eats insects, plant exudates, and sap.

Did you know? 
When provoked, bullet ants emit a warning screech and stand their ground. Their thick exoskeletons protect them from even birds and lizards.

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