(Pixabay photo)

(Pixabay photo)

Morning Start: The total weight of ants on Earth may have outweighed the total weight of people

Your morning start for Friday, June 11, 2021

Good morning and a very happy Friday! We’re in for a gloomy day — cloudy, with gusts of winds expected to reach speeds of 40 km/h later this afternoon. The day concludes with a slight chance for showers in the evening.

Fun fact: The total weight of ants on Earth may have outweighed the total weight of people

With around 13,000 species of ants worldwide, it’s hard to estimate how many are actually out there roaming the planet.

As noted in a 2014 article by the BBC, Harvard University professor Edward O Wilson and German biologist Bert Hoelldobler originally claimed in their 1994 book, Journey To The Ants, that the total weight of ants in the world would weigh as much as the combined weight of all the people in the world.

However, the article’s author, Hannah Moore, called this notion into question. She highlighted that with an estimated 7.2 billion humans on the planet today, the combined weight would total to about 332bn kg. If we can imagine that there are 10,000 trillion ants in the world, all weighing an average of 4 mg, their total weight would equal around 40bn kg.

But Francis Ratnieks, a professor of apiculture at the University of Sussex, said in the article that the theory raised by Wilson and Hoelldobler may have been accurate, once upon a time ago.

“I think if we went back 2,000 years, certainly the ants would’ve outweighed the humans… but at roughly the time that America became independent [1776], or a little bit before that, that’s when we humans became more impressive in our weight than the ants,” Ratnieks said.

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In case you missed it:

Three years after coming out as transgender, Darrien McWatters has undergone gender reassignment surgery.

“It’s not minor surgery,” McWatters said of the procedure which was done at GRS Montreal in May. The procedure was done three weeks ago, but the transitioning process began in the fall of 2017, when McWatters said she came out to herself. Then, in January, 2018, she came out publicly.

At first she described herself as “gender fluid,” sometimes identifying as male and at other times identifying as female. But as time went on, this term lost its meaning.

Read the full story here.

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That’s all for today. Everyone, have a great day


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