Stag beetle battle (c) University of Antwerp
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Stag beetles bite with ungainly jaws

27 March 2014 Last updated at 00:04 GMT

Researchers have staged stag beetle battles to solve the mystery of how the male beetles bite so hard.

The extreme length of the beetles' jaws should make it difficult for them to produce a forceful bite.

As well as measuring the bite forces that the beetles could produce, the scientists, from Antwerp University, filmed stag beetle fights to assess their biting power.

Here, lead researcher Jana Goyens explains the findings, which are reported in the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Footage courtesy of Jana Goyens, University of Antwerp