World’s fastest ants found racing across the Sahara
The silver ants can run their body length in less than a hundredth of a second—the equivalent of a human running 400 miles an hour.
Like a tiny, glinting missile, the Saharan silver ant blazes across the searing sand in search of dead animals that have succumbed to the heat. Now, new research reveals these fleet-footed foragers are not only the fastest ants alive, but among some of the fastest insects on the planet.
In a recent experiment on the sun-baked dunes of Douz, Tunisia, the insects clocked in at about 2.8 feet per second—or about 108 times their body length in a single second. If that were scaled up to humans, we’d zoom along at over 400 miles per hour.
The ants are outpaced only by a few invertebrates, including a mite from California, Paratarsotomus macropalpis, and an Australian tiger beetle, Cicindela hudsoni,