mokeymokey (kiohl) wrote in wtf_nature,

On the note of predators eating unusual things...

Disclaimer: I know this got floated around the net a while ago, so apologies to those who've already seen it. I checked the tags here for "praying/preying mantis", "hummingbird" (which doesn't actually exist), "hunting", "Mantodea" (also doesn't exist), and "predator", and couldn't find this there either.

I always find it really interesting when I come across an invertebrate who can take down a vertebrate. In this case, a praying mantis takes down a hummingbird. Not surprising, given what its forelegs look like:

(Hydralisk, anyone?)

(Somewhat graphic images ahead)

As you can see from the photographs this hungry mantis captured and killed a hummingbird not much smaller than itself. The mantis used its spiny left foreleg to impale the hummingbird through the chest while leaving his right leg free.


Once I waded the tall weeds I grabbed the goldenrod and gave it a violent shake with the hope of freeing the hummer! Well you can see the mantis had a very firm grip on it no question. Once the goldenrod settled down I noticed that the female hummer had her entire throat ripped open and she had no chance of recovery.


Praying mantis catches and eats a mouse
Mantis catches and starts chewing on a snake (but it gets away)
This one wasn't so lucky.

And if you want to read more about mantids and their raptorial forelegs, binocular vision, 300º head articulation, etc., here's the Wikipedia entry. Not bad, for an order descended from proto-cockroaches.
Tags: hunting, insect, invertebrate, predator, preying mantis
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