Fastest ants alive

Costa Rican trap-jaw ants, Odontomachus bauri, a species with extra-long mandibles that can snap shut at 145 miles per hour is the new record holder for fastest striking predator. Not only can a trap-jaw ant strike faster than we can see, it can also use the power of its jaws to launch itself out of danger with high speed jumps. Sheila Patek, who’s laboratory did the research, has also got a fascinating video on TED.com about the capabilities of the aggressive and powerful Mantis Shrimp. I take my hat off to dedicated researchers like Sheila for putting in the long hours at low pay that give us these astounding insights into the natural world.

2008.08.04