Why can ants lift so much?

Ant strength is due to their small size. An ant worker can lift an object weighing five to ten times its weight and can drag a 20-50 times heavier object, whereas humans can rarely lift their own weight. However, ant muscles are no stronger than human muscles (in terms of force per cm2), but the small size of ants (one to five milligrams) gives them an advantage on how much muscle force they can produce. As the size of an organism increases, its body mass increases at a much greater rate than the cross-sectional area of muscles, so that the muscles of larger organisms have proportionately more mass to lift. A small size means ants have proportionately more muscle (in terms of cross-sectional area) that they can use to lift heavy objects. If we were as small as an ant, we could do the same.

Answered by Dmitri Logunov.