Snap-jaw morphology is specialized for high-speed power amplification in the Dracula ant, Mystrium camillae

Published on Dec 1, 2018in Royal Society Open Science2.52
· DOI :10.1098/rsos.181447
Fredrick J. Larabee5
Estimated H-index: 5
(UIUC: University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign),
Adrian A. Smith10
Estimated H-index: 10
(NCSU: North Carolina State University),
Andrew V. Suarez45
Estimated H-index: 45
(UIUC: University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign)
What is the limit of animal speed and what mechanisms produce the fastest movements? More than natural history trivia, the answer provides key insight into the form–function relationship of musculoskeletal movement and can determine the outcome of predator–prey interactions. The fastest known animal movements belong to arthropods, including trap-jaw ants, mantis shrimp and froghoppers, that have incorporated latches and springs into their appendage systems to overcome the limits of muscle power. In contrast to these examples of power amplification, where separate structures act as latch and spring to accelerate an appendage, some animals use a ‘snap-jaw’ mechanism that incorporates the latch and spring on the accelerating appendage itself. We examined the kinematics and functional morphology of the Dracula ant, Mystrium camillae, who use a snap-jaw mechanism to quickly slide their mandibles across each other similar to a finger snap. Kinematic analysis of high-speed video revealed that snap-jaw ant mandib...
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Published on Apr 27, 2018in Science41.04
Mark Ilton3
Estimated H-index: 3
(UMass: University of Massachusetts Amherst),
M. Saad Bhamla6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Stanford University)
+ 14 AuthorsFatma Zeynep Temel6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering)
INTRODUCTION Mechanical power, whether for launched missiles or running humans, is limited by the universal, physical trade-off between force and velocity. However, many biological systems use power-amplifying mechanisms that enable unmatched accelerations in challenging environments and across a wide range of size scales. How these mechanisms actually enhance power output remains unclear. Power-amplified biological systems are of particular interest because they achieve a trio of combined capab...
Published on Feb 1, 2018in Current Biology9.19
Gregory P. Sutton6
Estimated H-index: 6
(UoB: University of Bristol),
Malcolm Burrows42
Estimated H-index: 42
(University of Cambridge)
Published on Jan 1, 2018in Current Biology9.19
Tomonari Kaji3
Estimated H-index: 3
(U of A: University of Alberta),
Arthur Anker8
Estimated H-index: 8
(UFG: Universidade Federal de Goiás)
+ 1 AuthorsA. Richard Palmer29
Estimated H-index: 29
(U of A: University of Alberta)
Summary How do stunning functional innovations evolve from unspecialized progenitors? This puzzle is particularly acute for ultrafast movements of appendages in arthropods as diverse as shrimps [1], stomatopods [2], insects [3–6], and spiders [7]. For example, the spectacular snapping claws of alpheid shrimps close so fast (∼0.5 ms) that jetted water creates a cavitation bubble and an immensely powerful snap upon bubble collapse [1]. Such extreme movements depend on (1) an energy-storage mechani...
Published on Sep 1, 2017in The Journal of Experimental Biology3.02
Fredrick J. Larabee5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Smithsonian Institution),
Wulfila Gronenberg34
Estimated H-index: 34
(UA: University of Arizona),
Andrew V. Suarez45
Estimated H-index: 45
(UIUC: University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign)
National Science Foundation [DDIG DEB-1407279, IOS-1354191]; Smithsonian Institution (Peter Buck Fellowship); National Geographic Society [9481-14]; School of Integrative Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Thays Obando Brito1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UFRJ: Federal University of Rio de Janeiro),
Amal Elzubair1
Estimated H-index: 1
(UFRJ: Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)
+ 3 AuthorsL Henriquedealmeida9
Estimated H-index: 9
(UFRJ: Federal University of Rio de Janeiro)
Published on Mar 1, 2017in Journal of the Royal Society Interface3.22
Alexander Blanke11
Estimated H-index: 11
(University of Hull),
Helmut Schmitz17
Estimated H-index: 17
(University of Bonn)
+ 2 AuthorsMichael J. Fagan26
Estimated H-index: 26
(University of Hull)
Functional requirements may constrain phenotypic diversification or foster it. For insect mouthparts, the quantification of the relationship between shape and function in an evolutionary framework remained largely unexplored. Here, the question of a functional influence on phenotypic diversification for dragonfly mandibles is assessed with a large-scale biomechanical analysis covering nearly all anisopteran families, using finite element analysis in combination with geometric morphometrics. A co...
Published on Nov 1, 2016in The Journal of Experimental Biology3.02
Matthew J. McHenry22
Estimated H-index: 22
(UCI: University of California, Irvine),
Philip S. L. Anderson16
Estimated H-index: 16
(Duke University)
+ 3 AuthorsS. N. Patek20
Estimated H-index: 20
(Duke University)
ABSTRACT Countless aquatic animals rotate appendages through the water, yet fluid forces are typically modeled with translational motion. To elucidate the hydrodynamics of rotation, we analyzed the raptorial appendages of mantis shrimp (Stomatopoda) using a combination of flume experiments, mathematical modeling and phylogenetic comparative analyses. We found that computationally efficient blade-element models offered an accurate first-order approximation of drag, when compared with a more elabo...
Published on Oct 14, 2016
Yanni Yang2
Estimated H-index: 2
(Ocean University of China),
Feng Hong13
Estimated H-index: 13
(Ocean University of China)
+ 1 AuthorsZhongwen Guo7
Estimated H-index: 7
(Ocean University of China)
This paper presents a new biometric trait, finger snapping, which can be applied for person authentication. We extract a set of features from finger snapping traces according to time and frequency domain analysis. A prototype is developed on Android smartphones to realize authentication for users. We collect 6160 snapping traces from 22 subjects for continuous 7 days and 324 traces from 54 volunteers across three weeks. Extensive experiments confirm the measurability, permanence, uniqueness, cir...
Published on Jul 1, 2016in Systematic Entomology3.73
Philip S. Ward31
Estimated H-index: 31
(UC Davis: University of California, Davis),
Brian L. Fisher32
Estimated H-index: 32
(California Academy of Sciences)
The ants in the subfamily Amblyoponinae are an old, relictual group with an unusual suite of morphological and behavioural features. Adult workers pierce the integument of their larvae to imbibe haemolymph, earning them the vernacular name ‘dracula ants’. We investigate the phylogeny of this group with a data set based on 54 ingroup taxa, 23 outgroups and 11 nuclear gene fragments (7.4 kb). We find that the genus Opamyrma has been misplaced in this subfamily: it is a member of the leptanilline c...
Published on Jul 1, 2016in Journal of Experimental Zoology1.72
Jeffrey A. Scales7
Estimated H-index: 7
(USF: University of South Florida),
Charlotte M. Stinson2
Estimated H-index: 2
(USF: University of South Florida),
Stephen M. Deban22
Estimated H-index: 22
(USF: University of South Florida)
Muscle-powered movements are limited by the contractile properties of muscles and are sensitive to temperature changes. Elastic-recoil mechanisms can both increase performance and mitigate the effects of temperature on performance. Here, we compare feeding movements in two species of plethodontid salamanders, Bolitoglossa franklini and Desmognathus quadramaculatus, across a range of body temperatures (5-25°C) to better understand the mechanism of elastically powered, thermally robust movements. ...
Cited By2
Published in Arthropod Structure & Development1.84
Thiago S. R. Silva2
Estimated H-index: 2
(UFPR: Federal University of Paraná),
Rodrigo M. Feitosa9
Estimated H-index: 9
(UFPR: Federal University of Paraná)
Abstract Morphological studies of insects can help us to understand the concomitant or sequential functionality of complex structures and may be used to hypothetize distinct levels of phylogenetic relationship among groups. Traditional morphological works, generally, have encompassed a set of elements, including descriptions of structures and their respective conditions, literature references and images, all combined in a single document. Fast forward to the digital era, it is now possible to re...
Published on May 21, 2019in The Journal of Experimental Biology3.02
O. Bolmin , L. Wei + 3 AuthorsMarianne Alleyne6
Estimated H-index: 6
Elaterid beetles have evolved to “click” their bodies in a unique maneuver. When this maneuver is initiated from a stationary position on a solid substrate, it results in a jump not carried out by the traditional means of jointed appendages (i.e. legs). Elaterid beetles belong to a group of organisms that amplify muscle power through morphology to produce extremely fast movements. Elaterids achieve power amplifications through a hinge situated in the thoracic region. The actuating components of ...
Published on Mar 1, 2019in Arthropod Structure & Development1.84
Adrian Richter1
Estimated H-index: 1
(FSU: University of Jena),
Roberto A. Keller7
Estimated H-index: 7
(University of Lisbon)
+ 3 AuthorsRolf G. Beutel41
Estimated H-index: 41
(FSU: University of Jena)
Abstract Despite the ecological significance of ants and the intensive research attention they have received, thorough treatments of the anatomy and functional morphology are still scarce. In this study we document the head morphology of workers of the myrmicine Wasmannia affinis with optical microscopy, μ-computed tomography, scanning electron microscopy, and 3D reconstruction, providing the first complete anatomical treatment of an ant head with a broad array of modern techniques. We discuss t...