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Thread: How are ants able to move/pull objects that are heavier than it?

  1. #1 How are ants able to move/pull objects that are heavier than it? 
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    Dec 2011
    ANT POWER.....!!!!

    Can we imagine carrying ten-time heavier objects than our body weight? It may be possible for the ‘ super-man', but not for an ordinary man. However, ants could carry or pull objects weighing several folds heavier than their own body weights.
    Do ants possess stronger muscles that enable them to produce more strength than humans? The answer is ‘NO', according to Sir Vincent Brian Wigglesworth, the ‘Father of Insect Physiology' who compared and found no differences between the muscle force (per unit area) of insects and vertebrates. Then what enables the ants to carry heavier objects is their relatively smaller body size.
    According to the square – cube law, when an object undergoes a proportional increase in size, its new volume is proportional to the cube of the multiplier and its new surface area is proportional to the square of the multiplier. When an animal grows in length (or height), the volume increases in cube but the cross sectional area of its muscles increases only in square.
    Mass is the amount of matter in an object, and hence the (cubic) increase in volume tends to increase the body mass significantly, whereas the cross-sectional area of the muscles increases in a much slower rate (only in square). Hence, these cross sectional areas of muscles have to support relatively more mass and thus larger animals like humans need to put most of the muscles in use to carry their own mass.
    In other words, larger animals have to carry their own weight, besides the heavier objects; so they are able to carry only slightly heavier objects. However, because of the smaller body size, the body mass of ants is much lower and hence they put fewer muscles into use to carry this body mass. Thus, ants could use more muscles to carry bigger loads than their own mass, which not only applies to ants, but also holds good for most of the insects. However, since ants are quite abundant in human habitats, we frequently seeing them carrying bigger cuisines or pulling heavier objects.


    Entomologist and Head of Entomology Group
    AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center
    Tainan, Taiwan )

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  3. #2  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope skeptic's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    New Zealand
    To 4n

    If you want to start a thread, you pose a question.
    If you answer your own question before the thread begins, it aint gonna go far!

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  4. #3  
    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Cardiff, Wales
    this probably would have been better as a blog, except that we stopped doing blogs on this forum
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  5. #4 Ant can carry heavy objects...Interesting 
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    Dec 2011
    The ant power..truly interesting. I have read the write-up and have shared it to my friends. How about making ads, wherein ants are carrying loads faster as compared to men...Isn't it interesting!

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  6. #5  
    Forum Junior
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    Mar 2008
    if an ant is 100 times smaller than a human then you can slow down time 10 fold and gravity will appear to be the same from the ants perspective as as it does from a humans perspective

    that might help you visualize the nature of the ants world
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  7. #6  
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    put ants on a treadmill maybe
    that is if you can build a treadmill
    turning in multiple directions
    hyper little twits
    i have tried talking with them but
    it is too much like teaching preschool
    where cockroaches are unwelcome
    to say the least
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