Three scientists, led by Adrian Smith, have discovered this amazing species, which Smith is studying in Formica archboldi, an ant species that collects skulls. They used to think that the skull-collecting ant species had the fastest opening and closing of their mouths, reaching 44.7 meters per second, but they couldnt compare with vampire ants at all. The name of this species is derived from their strange habit of feeding young individualsblood through a process of nondestructive cannibalism.
Andrew Suarez, senior author of the study at the University of Illinois, USA, said: The anatomy of the mouth of this vampire ant is different. Its not closed from an open position, but with the help of a projectile mechanism. They squeeze the jaws together to form a potential energy, which is released when one side of the jaw interlaces with the other. Its kind of like the human finger-clicking action.
Suarez says vampire ants use this strategy to attack arthropods. Once the prey is wounded or stunned, they drag it back to their nests for their larvae to eat. Researchers used X-ray imaging to observe the anatomy of vampire ants from a three-dimensional perspective. High-speed cameras also recorded the astonishing speed of their mouths, which open and close at 5,000 times the speed of human blinking. (passer by)
Source: Liable Editor of Netease Science and Technology Report: Yao Liwei_NT6056