Monday, 24 February 2014

Ants Are Even Stronger Than You Imagine

Katharine Gammon, ISNS Contributor | February 21, 2014 02:20am ET

(ISNS) – While the world watches Olympians skate, jump and fly through the air in Sochi, researchers have turned their eyes to a much tinier but equally impressive athlete: the humble field ant.

New research published last month showed that the neck joint of a common field ant can withstand 5,000 times the ant’s weight. Previously, ants had been photographed carrying dead baby birds, so it was estimated they could carry around 1,000 times their weight. But the new numbers surprised even the researchers.

“We guessed that the ants could withstand about 1,000 times their weight, so we figured we’d start there,” said Carlos Castro, a mechanical and aerospace engineer at The Ohio State University in Columbus. “Initially we didn’t think this ant had any extreme capabilities, but they surprised us.”

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