Trap-Jaw Ants Have The World's Fastest Strike
With powerful jaws that snap shut 2,300 times faster than the blink of an eye, the trap-jaw ant holds the title of world's fastest strike. Their jaws are so fast, in fact, that the tiny creatures even use them as a form of conveyance: just by aiming at the ground, their snapping jaws can catapult them more than 20 times their body length. This can be a handy skill in dangerous situations, since it helps them quickly escape predators. Entire swarms of trap-jaw ants can fend off intruders this way, since a mob of tiny insects popping all over the place is a frightening sight. But how do such small creatures generate such incredible power? Instead of simply contracting and relaxing different jaw muscles like other animals, they use a spring-loaded catch mechanism. Like pulling back a bow to fire an arrow, the ants can store up energy in their jaws before they strike. Once they're ready, trigger hairs on each side let the ant "fire" their mandibles the moment they touch their target. Learn more about these incredible creatures with these videos.