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Bullet Ant
Paraponera clevata

In the Amazon, ants account for more than 30 percents of the biomass, or volume of living material. Inch-long bullet ants- one of the worlds largest ant species - help tip the scales. With their large mandibles, or jaws, bullet ants clamp onto food or foes. They are aggressive hunters, preying on termites and other insects and even attacking wasp nests. They also drink nectar and water. They can carry drops of liquid in those big mandibles.

When provoked, bullet ants emit a warning screech and stand their ground. Their thick exoskeletons protect them from even birds and lizards. But their best defense is a toxic sting that causes a fiery pain (likened to a bullet wound), trembling, nausea, and local temporary paralysis.

From Amazon Rising: Seasons of the River. Shedd Aquarium.

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