Animadversions.

The weblog of Joshua Drescher

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Birdwatching FINALLY gets interesting.

August 11th, 2005 · No Comments · Misc.

Mantis - 1, Hummingbird - 0

As you can see from the photographs this hungry mantis captured and killed a hummingbird not much smaller than itself. The hummer measured 2 inches and the mantis was about the same! The mantis used its spiny left foreleg to impale the hummingbird through the chest while leaving his right leg free.

Ouch.

Insert joke about prayers and tiny birdies.

We surmised that the mantis ran the hummer through and dangled its full weight on its foreleg while he consumed the flesh of the hummingbird from the abdomen. After he had his fill, the mantis gave his foreleg several swift jerks and freed his leg.

This was an unfortunate experience for the hummer, but we are amazed to realize how fast, precise, and powerful the mantis must be to accomplish such a feat! I have read that hummingbirds had no natural enemies–so much for that theory!

Bonus fact: “Mantis” is Greek for “prophet.”

Don’t say I never learned ya nuthin.’

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