animal strength

I’m incredibly interested in the subject of animal strength. I’m intested in knowing how strong (or not) some animals are, particularly in relation to humans. Does anyone have any information, website, etc. pertaining to this subject. Much thanks for any help.

There should be a fair amount on ape strength compared to humans on the web; there have been a few studies done on it. It’s not really very conclusive though due to small sample numbers and differences in how measurements may have been taken… however most researchers don’t seem to see the point in spending time getting numbers to bolster the common opinion (probably correct) that apes (chimps, orangs, gorillas) are quite a bit stronger than us. It’s hard to get an animal to show it’s strength the same way you can get a person to. Tough to get a chimp to do a bench press, and just as tough to get a human to go into an insane rage and try ripping a spring out of a wall with feet braced on it parallel to the floor.

You can read on on scaling in physics to see how “pound for pound” insects like ants are actually pretty weak despite their herculean reputation. I think if a human were scaled down to ant size they’d be able to pick up about twice what an ant could.

I doubt that scaling a human down to the size of an ant would result in them being stronger. Insects and humans are constructed in a completely different manner for a reason. Chitin for an insect makes them much stronger in relation to body size, but when you become as large as we are bone is a better material. If an insect were as large as a human then the chitin would have to be so thick to keep the insect together it would weigh far too much to move. Conversely if a human were scaled down to the size of an ant we would be the ones using the inferior design. Our bones would be too frail to be of use, while the insects would be capable of moving objects many times their weight without thinking twice.

Of course organisms are constructed differently; sometimes to do with size, habitat, or just plain coincidence. Many variations exist for the same basic function - there’s no “ideal design” or “purpose” per se behind these body types. But due to physiological complications scaling on such extremes (especially between body plans) would produce organisms that would live for perhaps a few minutes then die. An ant would collapse and then suffocate, and a human would freeze to death pretty much on the spot.

I was not referring to physiological practicality - I was referring to mathematically estimated strength on a pound-for-pound basis. Scaling on these living things isn’t about arriving at absolute measurements and biological fitness levels, it’s about relative strength estimates of the body plans. And if you go through the math when you scale a human down to say 1cm tall it most certainly would be proportionally stronger; as well as able to easily outlift the ant.

I’m really scratching my head at why you’d think scaling a human down would make their bones too frail to use. If the muscle:bone size ratio works at 180 lbs, it could only be proportionally stronger at 14mg having so much less mass to support. In fact I think our “robust” build compared to an ant would be the very reason for our being stronger when scaled down; having a mass of a few mg while having the structural support of an organism designed for 6 million times that weight.

My math works out to a 6’ ant being able to lift about 1/4 it’s weight (based on being able to lift 50X it’s weight at 1cm), and a 1cm human being able to lift ~150-200X their weight; more than 3 times what the ant could do at that size.