publication . Article . Other literature type . 2006

Multifunctionality and mechanical origins: Ballistic jaw propulsion in trap-jaw ants

Patek, S. N.; Baio, J. E.; Fisher, B. L.; Suarez, A. V.;
Open Access
  • Published: 21 Aug 2006 Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, volume 103, pages 12,787-12,792 (issn: 0027-8424, eissn: 1091-6490, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Extreme animal movements are usually associated with a single, high-performance behavior. However, the remarkably rapid mandible strikes of the trap-jaw ant, Odontomachus bauri, can yield multiple functional outcomes. Here we investigate the biomechanics of mandible strikes in O. bauri and find that the extreme mandible movements serve two distinct functions: predation and propulsion. During predatory strikes, O. bauri mandibles close at speeds ranging from 35 to 64 m·s−1 within an average duration of 0.13 ms, far surpassing the speeds of other documented ballistic predatory appendages in the animal kingdom. The high speeds of the mandibles assist in capturing p...
free text keywords: Propulsion, Body weight, Kinematics, Marine engineering, Biology, Jump, Odontomachus, biology.organism_classification, Odontomachus bauri, Ecology, Biological Sciences
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