Every organism on our planet has a unique feature; some have a powerful jaw, while some have a sharp nose to follow an odor. We also have some fast runners over here. No, I am not talking about any athlete or marathon runner; it is an ant that can run 108 times the size of its body per second. Scientists have named the ant as Saharan silver, which resembles the name of the dessert at which it resides. Notably, the ant runs so fast that if we estimate the speed in terms of humans, it would be equal to sprinting at 360mph.
The little creature can rush faster proportionately to its body, even more than a cheetah. Besides, it marches around 12 steps for everyone that Usain Bolt, a Jamaican sprinter, does in a second. Scientists surmise the speed of Saharan silver’s muscle contraction may be close to physiological limits. The ant uses its half-dozen tiny legs to race at a pace of 33.7 inches per second, which is incredibly fast speed. They travel from their colony to scavenge the body of dead animals when the sun reaches the peak.
Above all, it moves in the superfast speed over the Saharan desert sand, which is as hot as 140 Fahrenheit. Inline of its name, Saharan silver ants have silver hairs on their back. Those silver strands act as an umbrella and protect it from the harsh sun rays. Researchers from the University of Ulm have studied the features and behavior of the world’s fastest ant. Prof. Harald Wolf, study’s leading author, noted even between other dessert-residing ants, the silver ants are special and unique. But very little information was available about the sprinter who races at such high speed across the sand. Thus Prof. Wolf and the team have captured the mysterious desert residents in a video during a trip to the salt pans of Tunisia.
Dr. Sarah Pfeffer, a lab member, detailed it was challenging to locate the hidden nests. They had required to seek for earth working ants or follow an ant returning home. Finally, they had found the nest. After that, they had placed an aluminum channel between the entrance and the feeder. Once the ants had found the food, they had started racing across the channel. Researches mounted their camera over there and recorded the clip. Prof. Wolf and the team have published their findings in the Journal of Experimental Biology.