Faster Than Fast: Mantis Shrimp and Trap-Jaw Ants

When most people think about the fastest animal, they think about the cheetah–the fastest runner in the animal kingdom. But, there are lots of other ways to think about fast. For example, if you take into account body size, a mite is the fastest.

But there are organisms that move even faster than that–and they don’t run at all. Sheila Patek studies organisms that exhibit ultrafast movements. Check out my interviews with her below.

The first is about mantis shrimp, some of which can move their appendages so fast that it boils the water. And bonus, I was able to work in a favorite The Oatmeal comic.

And the second is about trap-jaw ants, which can shut their jaws so fast that the movement catapults the ant into the air like a ninja.

 


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