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A New York City gem dealer didn't need the long arm of the law to catch a recent would-be diamond thief — the bandit traveled only a few feet from the scene of the crime, and measured just a fraction of an inch in length.
The perpetrator of what is probably the world's tiniest diamond heist was an ant, and its daring caper took place in plain sight. Not only was the theft detected within moments; the ant's antics were captured in a video that quickly went viral after it was posted to YouTube on Aug. 7.
Seconds - Camera - Ant - Glittering - Prize
For about 47 seconds, the camera follows the ant as it carries its glittering prize across the table. Sometimes the ant forges forward with the diamond, and sometimes the insect reverses direction and drags the diamond behind it.
Though diamonds are certainly unusual items for an ant to target, the industrious insects are well-known for their foraging behavior, and those that live in colonies often collect items to bring back to their nests, said Helen McCreery, a researcher with the Department of Integrative Biology at Michigan State University.
Ants - Objects - McCreery - Studies - Group
And ants frequently carry objects that are much bigger and heavier than they are, according to McCreery, who studies the group behavior and collective intelligence of social ants.
"I've seen ants drag things well over 100 times their mass — they are very strong," she told Live Science.
Type - Strength
That type of strength can vary greatly among ant...
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