Thursday, March 11, 2010

On 94.7 Highveld Stereo today, Alex Jay asked about a creature in nature that could accelerate faster than a this it?

SHOOT: It's either this or perhaps the tongue of a chameleon. Any other ideas, anyone, anyone...
clipped from
Trap-jaw ant (photo courtesy of Alex Wild/
Trap-jaw ants bite with a force of over 300 times their own bodyweight, new high-speed digital images have shown.
Their jaws spring shut at more than 100 km/h (62mph) - the fastest recorded speed at which an animal can move its predatory body parts.
The pictures also reveal these tiny creatures, native to Central and South America, do more with their vicious jaws than simply giving a nasty nip.
By biting the ground, the ants hurl themselves upwards when danger looms.
Employing the same high-speed imaging methods as those used to film flying bullets, an American research team now shows that the jaws can move at exceptional speeds. Peak velocities exceed 180km/h (110mph)
"This is really by far and away the fastest recorded animal limb movement," said lead researcher Sheila Patek, of the University of California, Berkeley, who worked with ants from Costa Rica.
The ants' jaws are relatively short, but they deliver such a powerful bite because they can accelerate so quickly. It's simple physics
Trap-jaw ant foraging (photo courtesy of Alex Wild/
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