The Trap-Jaw Spider’s Astonishing Bite

The tiny arachnids are far stronger than they should be.  

Researchers from the Smithsonian, writing in Current Biology, took a closer look at the trap-jaw spider’s little-understood method of hunting. High-speed video captured 14 different species of trap-jaw spider snapping their mandibles shut, the fastest of which clocked in around 20 miles an hour.

The researchers are still unsure how the spiders are able to achieve such speeds, because their muscles aren’t powerful enough by themselves to produce the energy necessary. Of course, that is little consolation to the prey the spiders encounter on the forest floor.