PiU (samedi) wrote,


I should really be working on a paper and ten minute presentation I need to give in class tomorrow, but the course hasn't been demanding and I'm still feeling euphoric from the events of the last 24 hours.

During my biological anthropology lab today we went over primatology and watched some episodes from the BBC Life of Mammals series with Sir David Attenborough. Lorises and tarsiers are my favorite primates; both received some attention during the film, in particular the slender loris. During a feature on the eating habits of the species they showed an individual picking berries while hanging from a branch, and then continued with an individual stalking a praying mantis. The mantis was trying to scurry away, but when it reached an impassé along the branch they were on it then turned around and started to wave its arms in the face of the loris. In reply the loris moved its head back a bit, paused, and with one quick swipe picked up the mantis and tore its body in twain (to steal some vocabulary from the Morte d'Arthur literary tradition) before popping each half into its mouth to eat.

However, rather than have you think that mantids are at the mercy of creatures larger than their own body mass, I thought I'd include a photo of one particular mantis who successfully captured a hummingbird (although I can't claim to have taken the picture myself). And for anyone curious, there's another photo located here showing how the mantis has started to tear into the chest cavity of the hummingbird - although whether this was the result of the mantis starting to feed on the avian or just from the downward pull of gravity is something I can't answer myself. Oh well, it's still an interesting photo.
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