Thursday, June 14, 2007

An Ant is an Ant, Of Course, Of Course

My co-worker and I have been taking mid-afternoon walks outside the office building. It's good, because I squeeze in more exercise, stay out of the vending machine and away from the ding-dongs (not that I would eat something as disgusting as ding-dongs, but you know what I'm saying!) and get more sunshine AND Vitamin D.

Yesterday during our stroll, we saw what looked to be a giant horsefly moving along the sidewalk on its side. Startled, we looked a little closer - one lowly ant (it wasn't even the biggest ant I've ever seen) was dragging this ginormous horsefly. (Insect take-out, I guess!

I was amazed by this as I sometimes struggle to carry multiple grocery bags up the stairs to my apartment.

But watching this animal activity made me wonder a few things about ants:
  • Can ants 'bulk up?' Do they have training sessions at ant gyms to help them get to horsefly-carrying shape? Maybe they start with a gnat, move up to a housefly, etc.
  • Is there an equivalent to steroids for ants? Was this ant we spied just an artificial substance user or did he actually have super-ant strength?

  • Are ants so strong because they're flatter and have more legs? Maybe human beings are doomed to strength mediocrity because we're taller and have a higher center of gravity. I know that I almost topple over when I put too much weight on my shoulder for squats. But then, I could just be a big wuss.

The whole event was fascinating - the ant and horsefly got stuck in a sidewalk crack - equivalent to a big ditch I'm sure. Not a problem - the ant just keep pulling until the horsefly was ditch-free.

That has me thinking of another ant dumb question - do they carry things with their mouths? I can't imagine those spindly legs are very useful. I'm not sure I'd want a horsefly in my mouth. That's kind of nasty.

1 comment:

ben d. said...

See this article on Wikipedia about ants, including this "The head also has two strong jaws, the mandibles, which are used to carry food, manipulate objects, construct nests, and for defense."