How Mantises Became Nature’s Strangest Assassins

From PBS Terra.

Mantises may be some of the most out-of-this-world-looking critters on Earth, but they’re uniquely adapted to life on this planet. These incredible hunters have repeatedly evolved into “ecomorphs”—groups that aren’t closely related, but share amazing adaptations to similar habitats. Mantis expert and grad student Lohit Garikipati says this happens so consistently in their history that “it’s almost baffling.” These dazzling displays of convergence may have something to tell us about evolution…

Our host, entomologist Jessica Ware, Ph.D., visits Lohit at the Towson University Mantis Lab to see how researchers are using high-speed infrared cameras to track the movements of mantis prey capture. The similarities (and differences) in hunting techniques can help reveal how environments shape the animals that live in them.

#mantis #evolution #ecomorph #ethology #insectsukraine

Image: Stagmomantis sp., © Lohit Garikipati

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