Animation showing evolution of trap-jaw

3. March 2021 - 4:00

The animation shows the changes in form as the trap-jaw mechanism becomes more divergent from the ancestral form. The jaws (yellow) develop small projections that can latch onto the labrum (purple). The labrum changes from functioning as a sensor in the ancestral gripping jaw to acting as a latch in the trap-jaw. The muscles in the head that control the jaw and the labrum undergo large changes in structure.

Reproduced with permission from "Functional innovation promotes diversification of form in the evolution of an ultrafast trap-jaw mechanism in ants." by Booher DB et al. (2021). PLOS Biology, CC-BY
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