How metal-infused jaws give some ants an exceptionally sharp bite

If you’ve ever felt the wrath of a biting or stinging insect, it may seem incredible that something so small can so easily slice or puncture human skin. 

Scientists already knew that some small animals’ piercing and slashing body parts are infused with metals such as zinc and manganese, making the parts tough and durable. Now, a study published September 1 in Scientific Reports shows how these toollike appendages form hard and extremely sharp cutting edges.

Robert Schofield, a physicist at the University of Oregon in Eugene, and colleagues used a special microscope to examine the sharp “teeth” that line the jaws of leaf-cutting ants called Atta cephalotes, revealing

→ Continue reading at Science News

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