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How much does an ant weigh and how much weight can it raise?

Несмотря на свой небольшой вес, муравьи способны поднимать груз, до 50 раз превышающий их массу

Practically every person ants are associated with diligence, self-sacrifice and the ability to work day and night for the benefit of the colony. Even the saying exists: "Work like a hundred ants." In addition, scientists have found that ants can boast not only an enviable "workaholism," but also striking physical abilities. And knowing how much the ant weighs, one can only wonder how they manage it.

Even in schools, students are told that ants can lift a load more than their own weight 10 times their own weight. But as it turned out, and this is not the limit - as the ants are studied, more and more impressive facts about their abilities are being clarified ...

How much does the ant weigh and all the ants in general?

The average weight of an ant varies depending on the species from 1 to 150 milligrams. Usual our black and red forest ants weigh about 5-7 milligrams.

В среднем вес муравья составляет 1-150 миллиграммов

The lightest ants are pharaohs, all known domestic pests, and some species of tropical ants, are just as small. The mass of ants from the caste of workers in these species is 1-2 milligrams.

And some of the largest species of ants are the South American ant-bullet and African wandering ants. The first working ant weighs up to 90 milligrams, and in the second the uterus during the settled period diligently becomes fuller and can weigh up to 10 grams!


Африканский кочевой муравей

At this time, such a womb can save up to 120,000 eggs every day, which is also one of the records not only in insects, but among other animals in general. In addition, both the ant-bullet and the wandering ants (siafu) are among the most dangerous in the world.

It turns out that one uterus of a wandering ant weighs as much as 200-700 workers. Although there are species - for example, jumping ants - in which the uterus from worker ants is practically the same size or weight. But these ants have many other distinctive features. For example, even simple worker ants can reproduce.

It is interesting

The largest ants living on the Earth had a body length of up to 7 cm in queens. If we extrapolate their mass, it turns out that such monsters weighed about 20 grams.

In general, ants are so widely distributed and so numerous that their total mass on the planet is greater than that of any other group of insects. According to scientists, all the ants on the Earth weigh about the same as all people weigh - about one billion tons. At the same time for each person there are about 10 million ants.

But in ants it's interesting not even how much they weigh, but their ability to lift very heavy objects compared to the weight of their bodies.

How much weight does the ant raise?

Today it is checked that on average the ant raises its weight 50 times that of its own - for example, up to 100 mg is transferred by every working ant-sheet cutter. Knowing how much the ant weighs, you can count on what he is capable of, as a weightlifter.

Муравей-листорез легко поднимает груз массой 100 мг

It is interesting that in the case of leaf-cutting ants, soldiers weigh tens of times more than ordinary workers, and the uterus weighs 700 times! Naturally, this kind of soldiers appear only in those anthills, the number of which exceeds 100 thousand individuals - fewer workers are hard to feed such an army.

In principle, a soldier of this kind can deliver a more outstanding record, but he never does it: his task is not to carry the goods, but to protect the "loaders".

On a note

If a person could lift weight in the same proportions as ants do, then it would easily squeeze a barbell over his head to 5 tons. That is, the strength of the ant exceeds that of a man by about 25 times. As the mathematicians calculated wittily, about a million ants will be needed to carry an adult, and about 10,000 for carrying a mug of beer. Of course, the results of such measurements depend on the type of ant and how much each weighs.

Of course, the smaller the ant, the less weight it raises. However, the ratio of the lifting weight to the mass of the ant itself decreases with increasing size of the insect.

Чем меньше муравей, тем больше его сила, приходящаяся не единицу массы

It is interesting

With the joint transfer of weights, the ability of ants increases even more. During laboratory experiments, the ant alone developed power at 24.2 erg / sec, and two ants together developed power at 63.2 erg / sec. That is, an ant can raise in cooperation with a friend as much as they do not raise both independently taken together.

Why are the ants so strong?

I must say that not only the ants are so strong: in general, all insects can develop very high power. The same fleas very quickly push their body a distance of 150 times the length of their body. Scarab beetles can lift a weight that is more than 850 times their body weight. Before such abilities, even the strength of the ant does not seem so great.

The reason for such phenomenal abilities of ants and insects in general has long been explained by scientists. In the animal world, there is a law according to which, with a decrease in the geometric dimensions of the body of a living being, its mass decreases in proportion to the length of the body in the third degree, and the cross-sectional area of ​​the muscle is proportional to the square of the length of the body.

A little difficult, but this means that the ants per unit mass of muscle is 100 times stronger than that of a person. And this proportion is also observed for other living creatures - crustaceans, fish, mammals. And in addition, the outer skeleton and a slightly different muscle structure contribute to these calculations their surcharges.

In general, this does not mean that the smallest ant is the strongest. Indeed, the tiny pharaohs ant raises the weight, more times the weight that lifts the giant wandering ant. But the absolute weight of the cargo in the case of a domestic pest is less. Therefore, the strongest ant is just the largest.

Ant abilities

However, the strength of ants is determined not only by the weight that they can raise. Ants use their physical abilities in other ways.

For example, ant bridges are very well known, which are organized by working individuals of African nomadic ants for carrying larvae and uterus through water barriers. Several hundred ants grab each other's bodies so firmly that a mammal the size of a cat can run across a bridge that has been made up to the other side of the stream. True, no animal tries to do this - these ants are extremely dangerous because of their painful bites.

Муравьи строят мост из своих тел

And the same leaf-cutting ants can drag along their own weight a cargo weighing 30 times the mass of their bodies. The need for this can arise when an insect, because of the non-standard size of an object, can not lift it above its head.

Interestingly, many such abilities of ants, especially inventive representatives of Homo Sapiens have learned to use for their own purposes.

Can I use "ant force"?

In Central Africa, the powerful jaws of ants are used to sew open wounds on the body: the two edges of the wound are pressed against each other and an angry ant is applied to them like a stapler. The insect immediately compresses the jaws and tightly squeezes both edges of the skin. Several such ants - and the seam is ready. It is important only to cut off the ant head with scissors as soon as possible: after that the jaws will not be squashed.

Sometimes in the same Africa the natives harvest from the anthills delicious seeds and small nuts, using ants as gatherers. However, the natives in this regard are incredibly ethical - instead of taken from the anthill, they leave insects pieces of dried meat or fruit. They know that if nature is not robbed, but equally divided with it, it will repay many times.

If you decide to fight the ants yourself, then we recommend using only proven in practice tools that have shown their high efficiency:

To the record "How much the ant weighs and how much it can lift" left 7 comments.
  1. Paul :

    "If the ant was the size of a man ..." it would have flattened it into a cake under its own weight.

    • Katya :

      Yes you are right. But still I can not believe: how these insects can lift such heavy things for them ?!

      • Elchin :

        In living nature there is a law: the relative muscular strength of animals is the higher, the smaller the size of the body. What is the relative strength of the animal? This means that the elephant is very large and very strong, but if the strength of an elephant is divided by the weight of its huge carcass, then for every kilogram it will have much less strength than a small dog. Similarly, if you measure the thickness of all the muscles in a person and an ant and compare it to the weight of their body, then the ant has a great superiority to the person.

      • Nastya :

        Because they constantly lift weights, because they build an anthill. I'm a student of 3B.

  2. Ilya :

    The queen of ants can demolish 150,000.

  3. Leila :

    Interestingly, is there such a kind of animal that can raise an elephant? ..

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