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Originally posted by RuneSpider
Each ant is both a worker, and a marker for the next ant. If oyu ever feel like being a pain to them, take someting and mess with the line, throw the ants willy nilly or crush 'em if your feeling like a bastard.
They get confused, some run back, they panic, even if they don't see anything happen, and it takes them a while to find the food source again. Basically each ant rubbing heads is like "Food source, that way". It's how they talk.
It is the speeding bullet of the natural world. The trap-jaw ant snaps shut its mandibles at speeds of 35 to 64 metres per second, about 2300 times faster than the blink of an eye.
That makes it the fastest recorded strike in the animal kingdom, says Sheila Patek at the University of California, Berkeley, US, and colleagues. The previous record holder, the mantis shrimp, punched at a relatively sluggish 23 metres per second.
The ant, Odontomachus bauri, cranks its mandibles open with a pair of huge muscles in its head, and holds them cocked with a latch called the clypeus. Releasing the latch unleashes the stored energy, much as a crossbow releases its energy when fired.
The tiny terror uses its mandibles for more than just biting. If a predator threatens, the ant can strike its jaws on the ground and catapult itself to safety. Vertical jumps can reach over 8 centimetres, and horizontal jumps can throw it almost 40 cm.