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#1
Old 07-14-2005, 11:28 AM
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How much would a human size ant weigh?

Once I get some information I'll be starting another thread. But for now I just need to know how much an ant would weigh if it were about 6 feet long.
Can the weight of the creature be exponentially calulated, or does it need to be adjusted for gravity and relative mass once it reaches a certain size?
#2
Old 07-14-2005, 11:33 AM
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Ohh, good question!
I have no answer, but I'll bump the thread.
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#3
Old 07-14-2005, 11:38 AM
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If you want the creature to be functional, you would have to compensate in many ways. A human-sized ant, proportioned the same as an ant-sized ant, would not be functional, since its legs would not be thick enough to support its body, its muscles would not be strong enough for it to move, and its respiratory and circulatory systems, which are designed to work only at small dimensions, would be unable to keep it alive.
#4
Old 07-14-2005, 11:40 AM
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Try this link.

http://ftexploring.com/think/superbugs_p1.html

It challenges the nature of many ant myths.
#5
Old 07-14-2005, 11:40 AM
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Well, does anybody know what the density of an ant is versus the density of a human?
#6
Old 07-14-2005, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hampshire
Well, does anybody know what the density of an ant is versus the density of a human?
Doesn't matter that much. Use the density of water and you can't go too far wrong.
#7
Old 07-14-2005, 11:55 AM
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It looks like 64kg and up.
#8
Old 07-14-2005, 12:07 PM
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If you shrank to 6 mm tall would you be able to toss ants around like juggling pins?
The examples to the right and above would seem to indicate that we are stronger than ants. I think we are. Even stronger, maybe, than these estimates suggest.
I still don't think l'd want to mess with them. Ants have those giant sharp pincher jaws and a nasty stinger on the other end, not to mention thousands of nest mates that will eagerly come running to help cut you up into bite sized morsels.


Pretend you are 6 feet tall and weigh 200 pounds. You're a pretty strong guy or girl and can push 100 pounds worth of barbell and weights over your head. Not exactly olympic material, but not bad. That's one half your body weight.

Seems pretty pathetic next to our leafcutter ant that can lift and carry 50 times its weight (though I have never actually verified this. Have you?).
(Remember we are over simplifying)
But what happens if we shrink you?
We zap you with the "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" ray and you shrink all the way down to about 6 mm or 1/4 of an inch.
According to my estimation using the relationships described above, you now weigh 3.2 milligrams. Based on the change in cross-sectional area of your muscles you can now lift 488 milligrams.
That's almost 153 times your weight!
Now you are 3 times stronger than the whimpy ant!



All from Bosdas link. (thanks B!)

I guess I won't be opening a related thread. It was going to be about using large ants to perform certain tasks, but it would seem as though that's out the window. Shoot.
#9
Old 07-14-2005, 12:10 PM
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You don't need to know the density of an ant unless you are comparing similar volumes. The OP compared an ant of similar length.

For practical purposes there is no adjustment needed for gravity since the ant, original size or six feet long or Them! size has significantly less mass than the earth.

Easiest way is to get some ants and weigh them. Since ants are very tiny it may be best to get a large number of them, weigh on the most accurate scale you can find and divide by quantity. Use as large a volume as you can to reduce rounding errors. I use a digital scale for ammunition reloading that displays in tenths of a grain (7000 grain = 1 lb) or hundredths of a gram. That's not bad for an inexpensive consumer scale. It can detect the weight of a slip of paper a little smaller than a postage stamp.

Measure some ants. If you could get ants to stand end to end to a length of six feet this would be easy. I think the simplest way would be to place them on a surface next to a scale of some kind like a machinists rule with fine graduations and photograph them then do photometrics against the image. Again best to average several readings.

All the hard work is done. Now just determine the ratio between an ant's length and your six foot reference then cube that to get the mass/volume ratio.
#10
Old 07-14-2005, 12:29 PM
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Check out the link Padeye, all the work is done. A six foot ant would weigh about 187 pounds and could only lift about 30 pounds.
As the ant grows larger, its muscle mass also grows along with its strength, but not as fast as its weight increases. Soon the ant reaches a point where it can barely lift its own weight, and then a fraction of its weight, and so on till it crumbles under its own mass.
Conversely, if a human were as small as an ant it could lift more than the ant.
#11
Old 07-14-2005, 12:38 PM
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I clicked Finagle's link

Yeah, that old sqare vs cube law is a bitch. Good thing comics don't follow the laws of physics or Spiderman would suck.
#12
Old 07-14-2005, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncommon Sense

All from Bosdas link. (thanks B!)
Por nada,
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