What is leafcutter ant? Ants Do you have any similarities between the scores of junior high school students and junior high school students? A mouth full of teeth fastened with metal laces.
Small arthropods such as ants, Spider And scorpions routinely chew, stab, or otherwise stab strong materials such as wood and bark. This is an amazing feat, given that even with our strong jaw muscles, humans struggle to chew like beef jerky (not to mention the bark mass of trees).
But a new study reveals what to give to one group of leafcutter ants (Atta Cephalotes) Their bite.Powerful use microscope, Scientists have found the web zinc Atoms are woven into the biological structure of the ant’s jaw, giving it the durability of a set of stainless steel knives, the researchers said. This smooth distribution of zinc allows the edges of the ant’s teeth to form fine dots — and it keeps them sharp for long periods of time.
Related: Photo: Baby Agito Ali grows up
“The small animals that had this material, their muscles are more microscopic than ours,” Robert Scofield, a biophysicist and lead author of research at the University of Oregon, told Live Science. rice field. The trick is for ants and other metal-mouthed arthropods to utilize a sharp chopper to apply exactly the right amount of cutting force to cut or hide the leaves.
From previous studies, Scofield and his team knew that ant teeth contained a lot of zinc. But they didn’t know exactly how those metal atoms were arranged and how they helped ants bite. By examining the material of leaf-cutting ants before and after chewing with an ion beam microscope, we were able to calculate the hardness, sharpness, and durability of the teeth.
The ant’s jaw, or lower jaw, is quite different from yours. “Ant are less dependent on the mandible to process food,” said Christian Crank, an ecologist at the Federal University of Parana in Brazil, who was not involved in the study. But they use them for almost every other task, from defense to home renovation, so they need to keep them in top shape.
Your teeth are covered with a layer of enamel, a material rich in calcium, the hardest substance in the human body. If you look at the enamel a little under an electron microscope, you will notice that the calcium and phosphate molecules form a thick crystalline matrix around the carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms. These crystals keep your teeth strong, but they also prevent them from sharpening.
In contrast, the small serrated “teeth” that line the medial edges of the ant’s mandible are coated with a smooth blend of zinc-crossed proteins. Known as the “heavy element biomaterial” (HEB), this material easily matches the strength of human tooth enamel. Also, the blocky calcium phosphate crystals found in enamel cannot form very sharp edges, making ant teeth suitable for slicing and dicing. It’s like trying to make a knife “from a lump of gravel”. However, zinc does not form block crystals. Instead, it remains evenly distributed throughout the protein mixture. Its fine consistency allows for sharp edges of teeth.
Ant teeth are not the only metal reinforcement. Other invertebrates also weave zinc or a similar metal, manganese, into a small toolkit. Schofield and his team found that giant clams stuffed their jaws infused with up to 18% zinc.Similarly, scorpion stings and spider fangs with zinc Manganese atom These thin, needle-like structures allow you to puncture strong meat without breaking.
Schofield and his team calculated that adding zinc or manganese to the exoskeleton of invertebrates reduced the amount of force required to pierce a tough material by an average of 60%. “Zinc is so wear resistant that it makes a big difference after a while,” says Scofield.
The study was published in the journal on September 1st. Science report..
Originally published in Live Science.
Leafcutter ant backs up bite with metal
Source link Leafcutter ant backs up bite with metal