Ants teeth

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The secret of ant teeth may help make future technologies smaller and more efficient

Secret of ant teeth. Know more…

Wednesday, 8th September 2021


Technology has played the most important role in reducing the world to a global village. Over time, the technology to ensure this has shrunk from huge, room-sized computers to phones that can be placed in the palm of your hand today. To ensure continuous reduction in size and improvement in quality, engineers must build powerful and compact equipment.

 

To this end, engineers are now turning to an insect known to have a super-strong body: the ant. Researchers studying ants have discovered a unique property that makes their teeth so effective that they can cut hard materials. They measured the fracture energy, wear resistance, and zinc and manganese content of ants' teeth, stings, and other "tools" for the first time.

 

A study published in the journal Scientific Reports pointed out that the force associated with the sharpness of ants’ teeth can “significantly save energy and also allow organisms, especially the smallest organisms, to pierce, cut, and grasp. It will not be accessible with simple or biomineralized tools.”

 

The ants’ teeth are thinner than a strand of human hair and can bite through the toughest leaves without damage. This is possible because there are zinc atoms in the ant's jaw teeth, which makes the force distribution uniform. Researchers hope that this feature can also be applied to artificial tools.

 

To understand the science behind the effectiveness of ant teeth, researchers isolated a tooth from the ant's jaw. They then used a technique called atomic probe tomography to locate each atom in the tooth. Researchers are trying to understand how zinc is distributed in ant teeth and how insects are provided with food.

 

The researchers found that zinc is distributed evenly on the surface of teeth, rather than in clumps, making it easier for insects to cut through objects. This even distribution of zinc provides an even distribution of force on the teeth, making it easy for ants to bite into hard materials. The research article said: "Compared to materials containing biomineral inclusions, this homogeneity appears to be capable of creating sharper and more precise engraving 'tools', and also removes inclusions that can be easily broken."

 

This insect "can even cut through human skin without destroying human skin, even with our own [human] teeth, it is difficult to do this," said lead research scientist and lead author of the study Arun Devaraj Tell CNET.

 

The researchers concluded that a uniform layer of zinc on human tools would be an inexpensive way to improve durability. Researchers are now testing this principle by trying to create smaller tools to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

 

They are also studying scorpions and spiders for further study. They measured the hardness and elastic modulus of the fangs, stings, and other "tools" of spiders, scorpions and sandworms.

 

The News Talkie Bureau

Source:

Indiatoday

 


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