Don't underestimate the strength of an ant. Sure, the eusocial insect may be tiny, but they have enough power to pilfer your valuables.
Need proof? An ant making off with a diamond was caught in a jewelry store on video and was uploaded to YouTube where it's gone viral.
The mini-heist was virtually undetectable at first.
But the lone soldier remains steadfast in his objective.
That's quite a haul. Where is he taking it to?
The diamond is nearly twice its size, yet he indefatigably pushes it, drags and carries it by any means necessary.
Ocean's ElevAnt: Watch An Ant Steal A Diamond From Wholesaler's Desk https://t.co/faVBXlyn0D https://t.co/ijoNoCsL3Z— 9GAG (@9GAG)1533816122.0
So how is such a tiny specimen able to show the diamond who's boss? According to Curious Meerkat the phenomenon of their agility has to do with what's called scaling.
Surface area does not scale proportionally with volume; for every unit increase in the size of something, surface area increases by length, but volume increases by length, meaning that the surface area to volume ratio decreases.
This is important, because the ratio of outer surface area (e.g. skin) to total volume (e.g. the body) is a significant quantity in biological terms.
As an example, vertebrates use lungs for oxygen. The organ has an "exceptionally high surface area to volume ratio," meaning, it has the capacity to take in a large amount of air.
Because ants don't have lungs, they use what's called spiracles, which is a network of tubes for collecting oxygen.
Spiracles have a much smaller surface area than lungs do, but because insects are relatively small compared to vertebrates, spiracles are quite capable of serving the oxygen requirements of the body.
The average ant can carry between 10 to 50 times their body weight and run at speeds of up to 800 times the length of its body a minute. Baffling. Suddenly the video makes a lot of sense.
The issue of strength is similar to what we just discussed for legs; the strength of muscle depends on its cross-sectional area, whilst body weight is proportional to volume.
Thus a small animal can lift many more times its own body weight than a large animal, because as the size of an animal increases, its muscle strength increases by length2, but its body weight increases by length.
@LaughingSquid https://t.co/y61cpKXLuA— Shaun Lynch (@Shaun Lynch)1533789995.0
So where was the final destination?
@9GAG https://t.co/I2qy1FQ2fw— Gnomeo (@Gnomeo)1533826161.0
@9GAG Diamonds are not forever..— Rafe 2642 (@Rafe 2642)1533816420.0
Keep your jewelry close.