A picture of an ant holding a weight 100 times heavier than its own body in its jaws while hanging upside down has won a science photo competition.
Weight lifting ant wins competition. It is an image that says everything about the determination of the tiny insects. The entry, which shows an Asian weaver ant holding a 500 milligram weight in its jaws, has been named the overall winner of the inaugural Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) science photo competition.
The winning image was taken by Thomas Endlein from the University of Cambridge, who was investigating how ants and other insects' feet can stick to surfaces. He won £700 worth of photographic equipment vouchers. Asian Weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) can carry weights of more than 100 times their own body weight whilst upside down on a smooth surface. To do this, they have incredibly sticky pads on their feet. However, this does not stop them from running quickly across such surfaces. Research has revealed how they cope with the conflict of sticking to a surface but not getting stuck. "Ants can change the size and shape of the pads on their feet depending on the load they are carrying," said Dr Endlein. "If they have to carry heavy loads they increase the contact area, and when they need to run they decrease it." Dr Endlein added that as well as shedding light on ants' seemingly gravity-defying feats, the research could help scientists develop better glues. "The pads on ants' feet are self-cleaning and can stick to almost any type of surface," he said. "No man-made glue or adhesive system can match this.
SO IF AN ANT WERE A HUMAN WHAT WOULD IT BE ABLE TO CARRY??
If the avaerage man weighed 13.58 stone, he would be able to carry...
3 and a half white rhinos
8 and a half renault clios
2 and a half mercedes benz'
1106 average Irish school bags
3650 "average" handbags (5.2lbs)
what exactly do ladies put into these "average handbags" I wonder?...