How Do Ants Hold Things?
Considering ants are one of the most common insects on earth, it may come as a surprise to learn how they hold things. The tiny ants can carry objects more than 50 times their own weight. They can also transport larger pieces of food as a team. And they have the strength to lift up a new VW Beetle with five men inside.
In fact, some species of ants actually construct anthills – barely noticeable anthills on the surface of the earth. These anthills consist of sand and soil, with sticks and pine needles added for strength. These anthills can range from a few feet high to several feet into the air.
The ant may not be the most impressive animal on the block, but they are certainly the most impressive when it comes to problem solving. They are known to use their mouths to clean themselves and to eat, but they also have powerful mandibles, which they use to break things apart and shape food.
The ant may not have the most muscles, but it does have the largest cross sectional area of any animal. These muscles are used for both lifting and lowering objects, as well as supporting the ant’s head forward.
Another interesting ant fact is that it can actually run 800 times its body length in a minute. This translates into a human equivalent of 50 miles per hour.
It’s not uncommon for ants to form pancake-like rafts during the rainy season, or to create towers when the ants are in an emergency. They have also been observed hauling dog food up a vertical wall.