Massive Jaws, High Flight, Deadly Bite – Say Hello To Trap Jaw Ants

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No…it is the trap-jaw ant! Bearing deadly jaws resembling a bear trap, these species can pounce on to their enemy at the speed of a tracer bullet. PhD researcher D. Magdalena Sorger relates it to a hammerhead shark walking around with those massive jaws lined with sensory hairs. Being bitten by one of these is the last thing you would want, considering the excruciating pain the venomous sting induces.

Trap jaw ant

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They don’t just pounce onto their prey and hunt it down, though. When trap-jaw ants feel threatened, they bite the ground with such force that it suddenly launches them high in the air. Imagine more than one of those things trying that together. That’s certainly one interesting way of startling the enemy. Land on top of it on the way down, and it’s game over.

Trap-jaw ants have spent about 50 years in North America but the possibility of either population growth or better suited climatic conditions in the Gulf States seems to have resulted in this specie’s migration there. It goes without saying, people in the Gulf better watch out. Though, invasive ant specialist Andrew Suarez believes the sting is not all that bad. Just to be on the safe side, let’s not take that claim at face value considering Suarez is an ant lover. Meanwhile, enjoy this little devil’s dazzling display of acrobatics.

Courtesy: NationalGeographic

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