Scientists have discovered the fastest bite in the world, one so explosive it can be used to send the Latin American ant that performs it flying through the air to escape predators. Suarez and his colleagues focused on the trap-jaw ant, Odontomachus bauri. Suarez and Fisher, along with University of California at Berkeley researchers Sheila Patek and Joseph Baio, found the ant’s jaws accelerate at 100,000 times the force of gravity. This means they can snap shut 2,300 times faster than a blink of the eye to reach speeds up to 145 mph, exerting forces 300 to 500 times the ant’s body weight.
“Until recently, cameras were simply not fast enough to capture the movement of the mandibles,” Suarez said. He and his colleagues had to use high-speed video cameras capable of taking up to 250,000 frames per second to film the ant jaws, roughly 10,000 faster than speeds movies are usually shot at.