Notices
Results 1 to 29 of 29

Thread: Humans and animals extremely weak compared to insects?

  1. #1 Humans and animals extremely weak compared to insects? 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    927
    Why can insects lift things hundreds of times their own weight, and carry such weight over long distances. While humans and animals can barely lift anything their own weight for a few seconds?

    What makes insects so superior to us?

    Edit: Also if you drop an ant for examle, from 1 meter. It`ll keep going as if nothing happened. If you drop a person from a comperable size you would have to shovel his remains into the coffin.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,328
    The third one is, firstly, terminal velocity. Drop a fish scale, then drop an avocado. And then humans unlike ants cannot walk decently with a few of our many legs dislocated.


    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3 Re: Humans and animals extremely weak compared to insects? 
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,564
    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    Why can insects lift things hundreds of times their own weight, and carry such weight over long distances. While humans and animals can barely lift anything their own weight for a few seconds?

    What makes insects so superior to us?

    Edit: Also if you drop an ant for examle, from 1 meter. It`ll keep going as if nothing happened. If you drop a person from a comperable size you would have to shovel his remains into the coffin.
    The world doesn't work in terms of x times your weight or size. You can't compare dropping an ant 1 meter to dropping a human several hundred meters. You compare it to dropping a human 1 meter. Even then, the difference in the masses of humans and ants doesn't really make the comparison fair. And maybe an ant can lift objects hundreds of times their weight, but a human can lift objects many thousands of times heavier than an ant. So ants have "superior" strength only in some vague relative terms, not in any absolute terms.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,191
    In space a human can also lift many times his own weight.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

    - Arnaud Amalric

    http://spuriousforums.com/index.php
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Masters Degree organic god's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    567
    In space a human can also lift many times his own weight.
    except that the human will have no weight, so this isn't really a huge achievement.
    everything is mathematical.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Forum Masters Degree
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    625
    Do you know what the weight of an insect is? Good. Multiply that by a hundred, and I assure you, any human will be able to lift that much.

    Edit: Also if you drop an ant for examle, from 1 meter. It`ll keep going as if nothing happened. If you drop a person from a comperable size you would have to shovel his remains into the coffin
    Naturally. Don't forget, mass matters. The insect's mass is tiny, so it gets off scotch-free.
    In control lies inordinate freedom; in freedom lies inordinate control.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    599
    Yeah it's a totally different thing, scalewise.

    Another example, if you're not convinced:

    moving through water that totally submerges you, for you, isn't very hard despite peoples lack of ability to swim.

    Scale down to something like a cladoceran, or water flea, and water is much harder to move through because it is 'apparently' less viscous.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,564
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    In space a human can also lift many times his own weight.
    If an astronaut tried to move the space shuttle away from the space station by bracing himself against one of them and just pushing, well... I think that guys going to get a hernia. And I don't think anything is going to move.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Sophomore Tharghana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    157
    If an Ant was the size of a Human it would be much stronger then any animal, probably be able to lift up cars with ease, but in compression, we are much stronger then ants.

    The Reason a ant can survive such a far fall probably has to do with the fact that they have Exoskeletons as well as high Pain thresholds I would imagine, since you can rip off a Ants leg and it will continue on, which humans cant do because are Bodies are much more Complex and fragile, its the same reason Insects aren't affected by Radioactivity as easily as People. The LD(Lethal Dose) for Radiation for Humans is 1,000 Rads, in compression, a Cockroach is around 40,000 Rads, and Flour Beatles something like 100,000 Rads, this is because insects don't have complex Digestive Tract, which is where Radiation Poisoning occurs in humans, where the intestines Dissolve and you die almost instantly from a massive infection. By the same fact a Human may removing its Radiation, if below 400 Rads or so, by urinating, and hopefully Damaged DNA strains will repair correctly and Cancer will not occur.
    www.periodicvideos.com - A Great Site

    "Well, good chemists shouldn't lick their fingers, anyways." - Martyn Poliakoff

    "You have lived to die, and your running out of life."

    "Once and a while, I go out of my way... to kill you... a little"
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    599
    from this point foreward I would suggest that beating a dead horse is not the best way to go
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,191
    let's flog it instead.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

    - Arnaud Amalric

    http://spuriousforums.com/index.php
    Reply With Quote  
     

  13. #12 Re: Humans and animals extremely weak compared to insects? 
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    So ants have "superior" strength only in some vague relative terms, not in any absolute terms.
    There is nothing vague about it. Without that relative advantage ants could not engage in the behaviour patterns that make them succesful.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  14. #13  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,191
    Enlarge an ant to human size and it couldn't even lift an antenna.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

    - Arnaud Amalric

    http://spuriousforums.com/index.php
    Reply With Quote  
     

  15. #14  
    Forum Masters Degree organic god's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    567
    for anyone who watches big bang theory. this quote seems relevant

    raj "we could be the bengal tigers"

    sheldon "poor choice, no creature exhibits a larger fighting force per pound than the army ant"

    raj "maybe so, but you can't incinerate a bengal tiger with a magnifying glass"
    everything is mathematical.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  16. #15  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by spuriousmonkey
    Enlarge an ant to human size and it couldn't even lift an antenna.
    Could it lift a humanenna?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  17. #16 Re: Humans and animals extremely weak compared to insects? 
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,564
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    So ants have "superior" strength only in some vague relative terms, not in any absolute terms.
    There is nothing vague about it. Without that relative advantage ants could not engage in the behaviour patterns that make them succesful.
    Well what I mean is that we can call ant strength "superior" so long as we only think in relative terms such as multiples of body weight. It's a pretty ropey definition of superior in my view.

    I will flog this dead horse until it is unrecognisable.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  18. #17 Re: Humans and animals extremely weak compared to insects? 
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    I will flog this dead horse until it is unrecognisable.
    Do you think the ant could lift it then? :wink:
    Reply With Quote  
     

  19. #18 Re: Humans and animals extremely weak compared to insects? 
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,564
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    I will flog this dead horse until it is unrecognisable.
    Do you think the ant could lift it then? :wink:
    I think a million ants could lift the bits left over when I'm done with the excessive flogging.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  20. #19 Re: Humans and animals extremely weak compared to insects? 
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    South Africa
    Posts
    8,231
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    I will flog this dead horse until it is unrecognisable.
    Do you think the ant could lift it then? :wink:
    I think a million ants could lift the bits left over when I'm done with the excessive flogging.
    A million ants weigh about the same as a human, no? So a mass of ants equal in weigh to that of a human can carry a mass of minced horse meat equal in weight to that of a horse. Question answered! :P
    Disclaimer: I do not declare myself to be an expert on ANY subject. If I state something as fact that is obviously wrong, please don't hesitate to correct me. I welcome such corrections in an attempt to be as truthful and accurate as possible.

    "Gullibility kills" - Carl Sagan
    "All people know the same truth. Our lives consist of how we chose to distort it." - Harry Block
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle
    Reply With Quote  
     

  21. #20  
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    927
    Thanks for the replies guys, makes abit more sense now
    Reply With Quote  
     

  22. #21  
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    28
    I have squished many insects in my life. I have yet to be squished by an insect. In light of this revelation, lets reexamine the question of who is the strong and who is the weak.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  23. #22  
    Forum Sophomore Tharghana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    157
    Quote Originally Posted by chadn737
    I have squished many insects in my life. I have yet to be squished by an insect. In light of this revelation, lets reexamine the question of who is the strong and who is the weak.
    But the day your squished by an insect will be the up most of irony!
    www.periodicvideos.com - A Great Site

    "Well, good chemists shouldn't lick their fingers, anyways." - Martyn Poliakoff

    "You have lived to die, and your running out of life."

    "Once and a while, I go out of my way... to kill you... a little"
    Reply With Quote  
     

  24. #23  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Nirgendwo und Ueberall
    Posts
    1,296
    i've noticed that there are some small guys at the gym who can bench press and squat more than people twice there size. For example, I've seen a tall, relatively normal looking guy who weighs 185 bench press 315 x 9, and a 215 pound bodybuilder lift the same or slightly less or more. Granted, many people arch their backs and strain when lifting and some push with their legs, but I'm talking legitimate lifts. My personal best is 360 x 3 @ 190. I am 5'4 and have broad shoulders and look like a bodybuilder when I lose weight but what about the other guys who look more like they were built to be swimmers or baseball players...? How can some of them lift such massive weight?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  25. #24  
    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    919
    Humans and animals are extremely weak to animals??

    Insects ARE animals. Logic does not computer when you say this. That is exacly like saying..

    Y != Y
    Reply With Quote  
     

  26. #25  
    Forum Masters Degree organic god's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    London
    Posts
    567
    Y=1??
    Y=2???
    everything is mathematical.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  27. #26  
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    2,564
    Quote Originally Posted by verzen
    Humans and animals are extremely weak to animals??

    Insects ARE animals. Logic does not computer when you say this. That is exacly like saying..
    Humans are also animals.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  28. #27  
    Forum Ph.D. verzen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    919
    I know this, but by saying humans and animals are completely weak compared to insects (which are animals in the first place) is saying that insects are weak compared to insects. (Depending on the type of insect, this may be true..) but without actual description to compare it to then it's kind of a dubious question.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  29. #28  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Nirgendwo und Ueberall
    Posts
    1,296
    "The strength of any muscle depends on the number of fibers, just as the strength of a rope depends on the number of fibers. In both cases, strength is proportional to the cross-sectional area; if you want to see how many fibers make up a rope, you had better cut that rope- it's strength depends on its diameter, not its length. On the other hand, the weight of the rope depends on length as well as diameter. A rope that is 1 cm in diameter and 20 meters long is the same strength, but half the weight, of as a rope that is 1 cm in diameter and 40 meters long. Muscle strength is the same: it depends on the cross-sectioal area, and so rises with the square of the dimensions, whereas the weight of the animal rises with the cube. This means that even if every muscle cell were to operate with the same power, the strength of the muscle as a whole could at best increase with mass to the power of 2/3. This is why ants lift twigs hundreds of times their own weight, whereas we can barely lift our own weight."

    -Nick Lane, Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life

    pg. # 170
    Reply With Quote  
     

  30. #29  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,328
    Cant' argue with that.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •