Friday, 3 August 2012

Bella's Animal Olympics - Weight Lifting


The next Olympic challenge is weight lifting.

An ant can lift 20 to 50 times its own body weight. If this was a human at the Olympics they would be weight lifting with cars and other vehicles.
Leaf cutter ants
However an ant could not grow as big as a human because ants breathe through special holes in their body, a system that only works with very small creatures. Although in prehistoric times when there was much more oxygen in the air, insects could grow very big and dragonflies were as big as a hawk.

The ant’s secret is that they have 6 legs and that three legs are always on the ground, making the most stable shape a tripod. Human weight lifters only have two legs and this makes them very top heavy and unstable when they lift those heavy weights – so for humans they do amazingly well too.

The weaver ant would win the gold medal being able to carry weights 100 times its own body weight.

Phew, that’s amazing. It makes me feel exhausted just thinking about it.

More olympic facts soon.
In the meantime, why not check out your garden and see if you can see any ants. They really are fascinating. Ants are hunters, scavengers, farmers, follow trails made from their own scent and live in a nest which is usually underground and ruled by a queen.

Bella Bear

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