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Video: ‘Trap-jaw’ ants chomp down with surprising force

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Many spiders spin webs to capture their quarry—but that’s not the only strategy hungry arachnids employ. When a tasty target is near, Mecysmaucheniidae spiders (Semysmauchenius sp., video; Mecysmauchenius sp., photograph) spread their jaws open, stalk their prey, then seize it by snapping their powerful mandibles shut. (The strike in this slowed-down video would be 150 times faster if played at full speed.) In the lab, scientists teased the arachnids, which are mere millimeters long, with an eyelash affixed to a pin.

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