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Jumping trap-jaw ants

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 22, 2008

Trap-jaw ants use their powerful jaws to propel themselves several inches into the air. The jumping is used both as an attack and to flee from predators.

It’s no wonder, then, that O. bauri ants can launch themselves into the air with a mere snap of their jaws, achieving heights up to 8.3 centimeters and horizontal distances up to 39.6 centimeters. That roughly translates, for a 5-foot-6-inch tall human, into a height of 44 feet and a horizontal distance of 132 feet, an aerial trajectory likely to be the envy of circus acrobats and Olympic athletes.

Here’s a video of the jumping action. (via cyn-c)