Biomechanics

Jaw-jumping ants: trajectories and trap-jaws

By Sheila Patek, University of California Berkeley


Type of Resource Media including photos and video clips 
Topic Locomotion/motility 
Taxa Invertebrate 
Organizational Level Organismal 
Role of activity in your course Digital image analyses and basic principles of ballistic movement 
Safety precautions, possible permissions necessary None 
Description Odontomachus bauri, a trap-jaw ant, uses its high speed jaws to capture and disable prey. Surprisingly, they also use their jaws to jump! By slowing down high speed video images of the ants jumping with their jaws, it is possible to do some simple physics about their ballistic trajectories. 
Associated Files File 1: 85.4.mov

File 2: 85.2.mov

File 3: 85.3.mov

File 4: 85.1.rtf    Preview Content (in separate browser window)