The fastest moving animal in the world is an ant. Yes, you are reading this correctly.
- Dracula ants create a new record for the fastest movement of animals in the world
- They press their mandibles to increase their power
- Researchers use incredibly fast cameras to capture their movement
According to a study by the University of Illinois, Dracula, also known as Mystrium camillae, can break its jaws 5,000 times faster than the human eye blinking at 320 kilometers per hour, making it the fastest known animal movement on the planet ,
They can be found in Australia, Tropical Africa and Southeast Asia.
Researchers say that the little blood-sucking creature feeds its mandibles by pressing the tips together, the spring charging them with internal tensions that are released when a jaw slides through the other – like a human finger.
"These ants are fascinating because their mandibles are very unusual," says Andrew Suarez, a biology and entomologist professor who helps lead the study.
"Even among the ants that strengthen their jaws, Dracula's ants are unique, instead of using three different parts for the spring arm, the lever and the lever, all three combine into the mandible.
"Ants use this movement to smash other arthropods, perhaps stunning them, breaking them on the wall of the tunnel or repel them, and then transferring the loot back to the nest where it is fed to the ants larvae."
Fredrik J. Larby, a post-graduate researcher at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, also led the study.
"Scientists have described many different mechanisms for loading the spring in the ants, but nobody knew the relative speed of each of these mechanisms," he said.
"We had to use incredibly fast cameras to see the whole movement, and we also used X-rays to see their three-dimensional anatomy in order to better understand how the movement works."
The team also made computer simulations of the mandibular hatching of various Dracula ants from the ants to test how the shape and structural characteristics of the mandibles influence their power.
"Our main findings are that fast jaws are the fastest of the spring load on the ant's mouth and the fastest known animal movement," said Larabee.
"By comparing the shape of ants with ants with ants, we have also learned that only small changes in the shape of the jaws develop as a new spring.
animals, and nature,