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.

Credit: 
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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