Navigation Links
Panamanian termite goes ballistic: Fastest mandible strike in the world
Date:11/24/2008

A single hit on the head by the termite Termes panamensis (Snyder), which possesses the fastest mandible strike ever recorded, is sufficient to kill a would-be nest invader, report Marc Seid and Jeremy Niven, post-doctoral fellows at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and Rudolf Scheffrahn from the University of Florida.

Niven and Seid conducted the study at the Smithsonian's new neurobiology laboratory in Panama, established by a donation from the Frank Levinson Family Foundation. The laboratory was built to use Panama's abundant insect biodiversity to understand the evolution of brain miniaturization.

"Ultimately, we're interested in the evolution of termite soldiers' brains and how they employ different types of defensive weaponry," says Seid. Footage of the soldier termite's jaws as they strike an invader at almost 70 meters per second was captured on a high speed video camera in the laboratory at 40,000 frames per second. "Many insects move much faster than a human eye can see so we knew that we needed high speed cameras to capture their behavior, but we weren't expecting anything this fast. If you don't know about the behavior, you can't hope to understand the brain," Seid adds.

Why are the termites so fast? When insects become small they have difficulty generating forces that inflict damage. "To create a large impact force with a light object you need to reach very high velocities before impact," Niven explains.

The Panamanian termite's strike is the fastest mandible strike recorded, albeit over a very short distance. Because a termite soldier faces down its foe inside a narrow tunnel and has little room to parry and little time to waste, this death blow proves to be incredibly efficient.

The force for the blow is stored by deforming the jaws, which are held pressed against one another until the strike is triggered. This strategy of storing up energy from the muscles to produce fast movements is employed by locusts, trap-jaw ants and froghoppers. "The termites need to store energy to generate enough destructive force. They appear to store the energy in their mandibles but we still don't know how they do thisthat's the next question," says Niven.


'/>"/>

Contact: Beth King
kingb@si.edu
7-034-873-770-8216
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. The Philadelphia Walk Now for Autism Expected to Draw 10,000 Walkers and Raise $1 Million to Help Find Answers About the Nations Fastest-Growing Developmental Disorder
2. First-Ever List of the 5,000 Fastest-Growing Businesses Reports Total Revenue of $194.5 Billion
3. Heartline(R) Fitness Systems Named to Inc. Magazines Inaugural List of the 5000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in U.S....
4. Allscripts Named to FORTUNE 100 Fastest-Growing Companies List
5. Inc. Magazine Reveals Its 26th Annual List of Americas 500 Fastest-Growing Private Companies
6. Health Advocate Recognized by Inc. 500 as One of the Nations Fastest Growing Private Companies
7. For Second Year Beryl Recognized as a Tech Titan, One of Texas Fastest- Growing Technology Companies
8. Coalition America, Inc. Again Named One of Georgias Fastest Growing Technology Companies in Deloittes Technology Fast 50 Program
9. CAS Medical Systems, Inc. Ranked Among Connecticuts Fastest Growing Technology Companies
10. PulseLearning (Founded in Childs Bedroom in an Irish Suburban Semi Eight Years Ago and Initially Run on a Second-Hand Computer) Today Named Fastest Growing IT Company in Ireland
11. Adult-Care.Org, After Its Initial Launch on August 28, 2007, in October 2007 Captures Attention of One of the Fastest Growing NASDAQ Companies, McCormick & Schmicks Seafood Restaurants in Marketing Partnership
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Panamanian termite goes ballistic: Fastest mandible strike in the world
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... For the first time, International ... the exhibit floor for the 2017 HIMSS Conference & Exhibition at ... 2017, more than 40,000 healthcare industry professionals are expected at the conference, where ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Empowering each person's ... goals for each and every seminar, session and class she offers. At ... brainwave tools which help energize creativity, focus mental functions, enhance athletic focus and ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... ... named a finalist in the 8th Annual DecisionHealth Platinum Awards in recognition of ... Qualis Health’s work is recognized across multiple award categories, highlighting four of the ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Program will ... Trinity Health and the U.S. Soccer Foundation announced today that they have awarded ... Soccer for Success, the Foundation’s soccer mentoring program, teaches kids the fundamentals of ...
(Date:2/17/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... Pharmica Consulting ... on all facets of clinical trial planning and management. Pharmica discussed the importance ... more. In addition, attendees stopping by Pharmica’s booth were able to demo its ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/16/2017)... 16, 2017  Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ... today announced that executive management will participate in the ... February 22-23, 2017. Adrian Adams , Chief Executive ... 1:35 p.m. local time on Wednesday, February 22, 2017. ... the event may be accessed from the Investors section ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... REDWOOD CITY, Calif. , Feb. 16, 2017 ... ), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the ... treatment of moderate-to-severe acute pain, announced that ... executive officer and a member of the company,s ... Mr. Angotti brings over two decades of experience ...
(Date:2/16/2017)... 16, 2017 Research and Markets has announced ... Analysis & Trends - Function, Application, Cancer Type, Technology - Forecast ... ... Market is poised to grow at a CAGR of around 28.6% ... Some of the prominent trends that the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: