One of the fastest animals in the world since ancient times is the Cheetah in the dash can accelerate to a speed of 120 kilometers per hour. However, if we consider the speed of movement is not in the usual kilometers per hour, and in body lengths per unit time, on our planet there is more than quick create. If you consider that for one second cheetahs overcome 16 lengths of his body, the so-called silver ants for the same time overcome the 106 length of the tiny body. And this, incidentally, is about 660 kilometers per hour. Find out how the ants develop such a crazy speed, has been the researchers from Ulm University (Germany). The results were published in the journal of Experimental Biology.
Silver ants (Cataglyphis bombycina) live in extremely hot conditions of the Sahara desert. Due to the extremely high temperatures and literally hot sand under your feet, these insects are primarily nocturnal and feed on animals dead from the heat. If you have to crawl out of the shelter by day, they develop a special type of protein that makes them resistant to temperatures up to 50 degrees Celsius. Besides, to avoid the hot sand, they raise their bodies as high as possible — fortunately, their long legs allow them to do it.
By the way, the name of this ant is associated with another feature of their body. The fact that the body is covered with tiny hairs silver color. They are necessary for the reflection of sunlight is vital for the ants protection.
Accurate movement speed of the ants was designed by German scientists under the leadership of Professor Harald wolf. Because of the night life and high speed of movement of the ants, they had to work hard to catch them. The work was carried out on the territory of the North African country called Tunisia, which is one of the natural habitats of the speed of ants.
To calculate the movement speed, the researchers placed them in a special box camera supports shooting at high frame rates. Research has shown that they do reach speeds up to 108 of your own body lengths per second. This is an amazing figure, but consider the silver ants the fastest creatures on Earth, unfortunately, is impossible. Faster than ants at least move California ticks (Paratarsotomus macropalpis) at a rate of 377 of body lengths per second.
Slow motion showed that silver ants develop high speed thanks to the crazy cadence. If the researchers are correct, then over one second, the ants do at 47 steps per second, and each step is done three limbs at once. Scientists believe that such a hasty step on the perfect synchronization of the limbs is associated with severe conditions, which are home to insect — quick movements do not allow them to sink into the soft sand and simply not to get burned on it.