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Farkle
The Red and the Green Stamps


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the write up of a doco on ants in my local TV guide says that if added together all the ants in the world would weigh as much as all the people in the world added together.

It is a startling statistic but is it accurate?


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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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quote:
Originally posted by Farkle:
the write up of a doco on ants in my local TV guide says that if added together all the ants in the world would weigh as much as all the people in the world added together.

It is a startling statistic but is it accurate?


I would be glad to work with estimates, but what is the mass of a typical ant? A typical person masses roughly, what, 70 kg? But I don't have a good estimate of an ant's mass...

(I do know that they can't move a rubber tree plant...)

Silas (ah, music) Sparkhammer

--------------------
When on music's mighty pinion, souls of men to heaven rise,
Then both vanish earth's dominion, man is native to the skies.


Posts: 16801 | From: San Diego, CA | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Kathy B
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Here's a source for your statement:
quote:
Ants rule the earth. All the myrmecologists (ant experts) say so. They tell us that if you add up the weights of all the ants in the world, they would weigh about the same as the total weight of all the humans in the world. When you consider that an individual ant is about one millionth the size of a human being - give or take a few hundred thousand? - that's a lot of ants.

Many people cite this Associated Press article:
quote:
Scientists say that about 15 percent of the Earth's total biomass _ the
combined weight of all living things _ is composed of ants. Another 17
percent is taken up by termites. The combined weight of all ants on
earth is more than the weight of all humans.

And a few other random bits

quote:
Which is greater, the combined weight of all the world's insects or that of all the humans?

1. The humans weigh twice as much
2. They weigh about the same
3. The insects weigh 12 times as much

This quiz originally appeared in the Awesome Possum game cartridge. The questions and answers are Copyright 1992-1993 Time Warner Interactive (used by permission). All Rights Reserved.


quote:
b. As a group, insects weigh more than all other terrestrial animals [professor's notes form Biology 101, Coastal Carolinia University]

quote:
...arachnologist [spider expert] William Bristowe estimated that a single acre of English grassland may contain more than 2 million spiders.

And Bristowe calculated that the total weight of insects devoured each year by British spiders is greater than the total weight of all Brits (and Britain isn't an unusually spidery place.) [from the Discovery Channel]


Kathy "bugged by thie weighty subject" B.

--------------------
The plural of "anecdote" is not "data."


Posts: 4255 | From: Sacramento, CA | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

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