Why don’t ants eat monkeys?

I’ve been thinking a lot about animals lately. I took a trip to the zoo last week and I can’t stop thinking about something weird I saw. I was standing outside the monkeys area, watching all these eerily people-like orangutans jumping, playing, fighting, etc.

My eyes wondered nearby and I noticed on the ground next to me was this incredible swarm/army of black ants. The beefy kind. There must have been thousands of them, all in this one little spot, scrambling in and out of a hole in the ground.

It got me thinking:

Why don’t ants eat monkeys?

I mean, there must be trillions – if not quadrillions – of them on planet Earth. They are everywhere, numbering in thousands at a time. They could totally rise together and eat monkeys. If they took down one monkey, the whole clan would be fed for a good decade, assuming they could keep the meat fresh.

I have pondered a few reasons why this would actually not benefit the ant population. Here’s a sample:

  1. Monkey meat is probably quite tough (all that swinging). I’m not sure if ants have teeth, but if they do; ouch.
  2. Ants are incredible smart creatures. They probably look down at the monkeys (as they watch them up there swinging in the trees) and think, Blech. Something so easy to catch would probably make us stupider.
  3. The hairballs. *shudder*

I’m pretty satisfied with my hypotheses, but you may not be. Any more ideas?

3 thoughts on “Why don’t ants eat monkeys?”

  1. As long as I know, aren’t the monkeys the ones to eat the poor ants?

    It seams that the kind of ants you saw must be a social group of ants organized as usual into a colony with a stabile nest. They must eat leaves and rests of food from the visitors of the Zoo and from the monkey food, as well. They must eat meat as well, but not living beings as the nomadic species of ants from the Tropics or African ones do in their travel (army ants & driver ants).


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