Ants have incredible strength and display amazing coordination or teamwork during foraging. Many people do not think of ants being able to lift a watermelon, but these tiny creatures have muscular bodies with extraordinary strength to carry heavy objects.
How Many Ants Can Carry a Watermelon? Almost 36,284 ants can carry a 20 pounds watermelon when they can lift 50 times heavier objects than their own bodies weighing around 5mg. The total number reduces significantly when their weight-lifting potential increases up to 5,000 times their body weight. Only 12,700 ants can lift a watermelon when its weight is around 7 pounds.
It is possible for larger ants weighing around 4 to 6 mg to carry this heavy fruit, and even smaller species that weigh around 1 to 2 mg can also lift it collectively.
Can ants carry a watermelon?
Ants are strong creatures on the planet as they have the potential to lift heavy objects on their smaller bodies without any risk of getting crushed.
Moreover, their muscular bodies have no skeletal system or a framework of bones, so there is no risk of fractures and other significant injuries in these ants.
Their tiny bodies have a lesser force of attraction from the ground, which makes them able to carry a heavier weight without any negative force on their bodies.
Accordingly, they can carry a watermelon on their sturdy bodies, but it requires a collective effort of a hundred thousand ants.
In addition, it is not possible for only one ant to take a large fruit as its weight is more than its carrying capacity, but a group of ants can manage to take it on their bodies.
This fruit can help them hydrate and consume a sweet juice or extract to get energy. So, they prefer to take it back to their nests and eat the watermelon.
These insects have amazing coordination in their activities and support each other because their coordinated behavior is helpful for the colony’s survival.
How much weight can a single ant lift?
Ants are powerful insects, as they can lift a weight many times heavier than their body weight. Their weight-carrying capacity is even more than larger animals and humans.
Probably, you underestimate their lifting potential due to their smaller size, but their tiny size provides benefits in terms of weight-carrying capacity.
These smaller insects can pick at least 10 times of body weight, which means an ant weighing around 5mg can take almost 50mg weight efficiently.
In addition, some species can lift around 20 to 50 times their body weight and can carry around 100mg to 250mg (0.1 to 0.25g) of heavy load on their bodies.
Some are pretty powerful species and can carry around 5,000 times their body weight, like American field ants. It means they can lift approximately 25g of weight on the body.
So, the weight-carrying capacity varies among different species of ants due to variations in their body size and anatomical structures.
What is the average weight of a watermelon?
The size of a watermelon affects its overall weight, as larger fruits typically have more weight than smaller ones. On average, a larger fruit weighs around 18 to 20 pounds.
However, a small watermelon can weigh almost 5 to 7 pounds on average, but it varies according to external environmental conditions.
Suitable growing conditions promote healthy fruits and make them rich in fiber, which increases the overall weight. You can find variations in the weight or color of different fruit cultivars.
A few of their cultivars weigh less than 2.2 pounds and around 180 to 200 pounds at maximum. One of the heaviest watermelons in the world ever recorded weighs almost 351 pounds.
They can lift the lightest and heaviest fruits, but the total number of ants required to carry the heavy weight increases for heavier ones than those required for smaller fruit.
How many ants can lift a watermelon?
You have to do some calculations to find the estimated number of ants that can lift a watermelon. Moreover, you need to know about the weight of the fruit and the insects taking it.
The average weight of ants is around 3 to 5mg or 0.003 to 0.005g, while watermelon is about 18 to 20 pounds or 8164 to 9071g.
Moreover, you have to keep their potential in mind during calculation as each of these insects can carry around 20 to 50 times its body weight on average.
It means an ant weighing almost 0.003g can carry 0.06g weight when it can take 20 times its body weight. Similarly, those weighing 0.005g can lift 0.25g weight if they can lift 50 times.
So, almost 136,067 ants are required to lift an 18-pound watermelon with abilities to lift 20 times the weight. Around 36,284 ants can lift a 20-pound fruit that can carry 50 times the weight.
However, this total number changes for smaller fruits having only 7 pounds weight, which is approximately 3175g.
Almost 52,917 ants can pick this small watermelon, having the ability to carry 0.06g weight, but only 12,700 ants can lift the same size fruit when they can lift 50 times the weight.
What factors affect number of ants required to lift a watermelon?
Many factors affect the total number of ants required to lift a watermelon, including the size of the fruit and the insect with their potential to pick a weight from the ground.
A large number of smaller ants are needed to take a watermelon up from the ground, but their number decreases if the size of the insect increases.
The Argentine ants only weigh 1mg or 0.001g, which can carry 20 times the weight, so almost 453,550 ants from this species are required to take a watermelon of 20 pounds.
In contrast, the red velvet ants are 6mg or 0.006g by weight and can carry 50 times weight, so approximately 30,236 can lift this fruit of 20 pounds.
In the same way, the size of the fruit also brings changes in the total number of insects required to take it to a different location or within their nests.
A smaller fruit weighing only 5 pounds requires a lesser number of insects due to its small size, but thousands of ants are required for larger ones weighing around 15 to 20 pounds.
The weight-carrying capacity of these insects also matters because a few species can carry only 10 times their weight, while others can lift 20 and 50 times their body weight.
However, some of these ant species can carry 1000 and 5000 times of body weight, so their increased weight-carrying potential decreases the total number of insects.
Almost 1814 ants are enough to lift a 20-pound fruit when they weigh around 5mg and have the potential of carrying 1000 times of body weight.
Furthermore, around 363 ants are required to carry the same size fruit when their average weight is nearly 5mg, but their weight-lifting potential is 5000 times their body weight.