How do ants survive falls

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How do ants survive falls

You may think that ants are just tiny, annoying insects that ruin your picnic or invade your kitchen.

They are that, but also amazing creatures that can do incredible things.

One of the most incredible things about ants is that they can fall from basically any height and not get crushed by their own weight.

How do ants survive falls

This is because they are super light.

The average ant weighs only about 3 milligrams, which is about the same as a grain of sand.

Ants have very little mass, and therefore very little inertia.

Inertia is the tendency of an object to resist changes in its motion.

How do ants survive falls

The more inertia an object has, the harder it is to stop or change its direction.

When an object falls, it accelerates due to gravity, and its inertia increases. If the object hits the ground, it has to stop suddenly, which causes a lot of force and damage.

But if the object is very light, like an ant, it has very little inertia, and therefore very little force and damage when it hits the ground.

How do ants survive falls

Ants also have a hard exoskeleton that protects their internal organs.

This thing is made of chitin, a tough and flexible material that also forms the shells of crabs and lobsters.

It acts like a suit of armor that absorbs some of the impact and distributes it evenly over the ant's body.

Ants also have a flexible joint between their abdomen and thorax, called the petiole.

How do ants survive falls

This joint allows the ant to bend its abdomen forward or backward, depending on the direction of the fall.

Bending its abdomen forward, the ant can reduce its air resistance and fall faster, minimizing the time it is exposed to predators or other dangers.

Bending its abdomen backward, the ant can increase its air resistance and fall slower, maximizing the chance of landing on a soft surface or grabbing onto something.

How do ants survive falls