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  • Odontomachus bauri is a species of ponerinae ant known as trap jaw ants. The trap jaw consists of mandibles which contain a spring-loaded catch mechanism. This mechanism permits the ants to accumulate energy before striking or releasing the mandibles rapidly. O. bauri is known for its powerful mandibles, which can open up to about 180° and within 10 ms of being stimulated and can close within 0.5 ms, which help with catching prey. The mandibles are able to sting and paralyze prey or crush prey to death. O. bauri also uses its mandibles to propel itself or prey off of the ground either vertically or horizontally. O. bauri can travel over 20 times their body length in a single jaw-propelled leap. To put this extraordinary ability in relative terms, a human would have to be able to throw one’s body 13 meters high or 40 meters long to match up to the O. bauri’s jumps. O. bauri is closely related to the genus Anochetus which is in the same family, Formicidae. It has been discovered from southern Costa Rica throughout tropical South America, the West Indies, and on the Galapagos Islands. Wikipedia

Freebase Commons Biology /biology

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