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How do trap-jaw ants perfectly time their snaps?

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 Biology   |   Environmental   |   Science
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When trap-jaw ants are dropped, before they hit the ground they snap their jaws and fling themselves back up into the air! How do they manage to perfectly time their snaps to do that? Why do they do it? It's all thanks to 4 little hairs that stick out of their mouths called "trigger hairs"!

Watch more AntLab trap-jaw ant content in these videos:
https://youtu.be/H2okI6ZszQY
https://youtu.be/Lq5-KE2C5mw
https://youtu.be/7VMebatFr6k
https://youtu.be/M9VXGiYPLyM

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Read more about trigger hairs and how they are wired, here:
Gronenberg (1995) "The fast mandible strike in the trap-jaw ant Odontomachus" Journal of Comparative Physiology A 176, 399408 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00219065

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