WATCH: The world’s fastest creature is the Dracula Ant

Posted by Imogen Searra on 20 December 2018

The Dracula Ant can snap its mandibles at a speed of 321 km per hour, 5,000 times more quickly than the human eye can blink, making it the fastest creature on earth.

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Ready, set…CHOMP! With mandibles that snap at up to 200mph (90 meters per second) Mystrium camillae, otherwise known as the Dracula ant, now holds the new speed record for fastest known animal appendage, beating out the trap-jaw ant’s impressive 140mph bite. University of Illinois animal biology and entomology professor Andrew Suarez led the study that uncovered the new record, published in the journal Royal Society Open Science. High-speed video was used to record the mandibles in action, along with computer simulations and x-ray imaging to examine the ant’s anatomy in three dimensions. To make up for lack of muscle, arthropods like the Dracula ant have evolved appendage systems that work like latches, levers, and springs. This usually involves the three parts working in unison, but in the Dracula ant they are uniquely combined in the mandible. The ant powers up the appendage by pressing its two tips together, spring-loading them for release when one mandible slides across the other — think of snapping your finger, with a whole heck of a lot more force. “The ants use this motion to smack other arthropods, likely stunning them, smashing them against a tunnel wall or pushing them away,” said Suarez in a press release. There’s still a lot to learn about M. camillae, and team plans on taking future research into field. (Credit: David General via Flickr) . . . . #speedy #highspeed #worldrecord #fastest #ant #ants #draculaant #arthropods #biology #animals #nature #motion #insect #macro #appendage #mandible #springloaded #biomechanics #entomology #biophysics #sciencenews #amazinginsects #powerful #worldsfastest

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It snaps its mandibles like this when attempting to catch prey, stunning and killing its victims which it then feeds to its larvae.

An adult Dracula Ant is unable to process solid food. After feeding its dead prey’s remains to its larvae, it chews holes into its larvae before proceeding to suck the larvae’s blood like a vampire, hence the name ‘Dracula’.

Watch this video below to see just how fast the Dracula Ant moves.

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