Scientists have found the world's fastest ant - the Saharan silver ant. It runs at just over 3kph. This is the ant speed of a human running 580kph. The ant runs 108 times the length of its own body every second. An Olympic 100-meter runner runs using 4 strides a second. The Saharan silver ant uses up to 50 strides a second. Scientists say this movement almost breaks the physical limits of what is possible for a living thing. The ants' feet make contact with the ground for a very short time - just seven milliseconds before they take the next stride.
The silver ant runs so fast because it lives in the hot desert. The sand can reach temperatures of 60 degrees Celsius. The ant doesn't want to spend time with its feet on the hot sand. Another reason is that if the ants' feet spend a long time on the sand, they will sink a little and slow them down. A professor wrote about why the ants' feet move so fast. He said it could be because of the sand dune habitat. Their fast speed could stop the ants' feet sinking into the soft sand. He said: "We knew these ants would be fast, but nobody knew how fast exactly, and how they would achieve that speed."