Praying mantises are known for their strange alien appearance, their inspiration of a kung fu form, and the fact that females bite the male's head off and devour his body for nourishment after mating.
But did you know praying mantises also prey on birds?
Neither did I, but apparently the praying mantis has developed a taste for bird brains so they've added birds to the list of creatures they will prey upon when they're hungry.
A group of zoologists from the U.S. and Switzerland studied 147 cases hoping to find clues about this strange act of bug-on-bird predation:
The group's findings, which were recently published in the Wilson Journal of Ornithology, suggest that mantises all over the world are chowing down on unsuspecting avians. Praying mantises were observed eating 24 different bird species across 14 families. Nearly 70 percent of accounts happened in North America, where tiny hummingbirds were the most common prey. States with the highest incidents of this, according to the study, were New York, North Carolina, Texas, Arizona, and California.
"In the older literature, there are all sorts of anecdotes of mantises eating bizarre prey, such as centipedes and poisonous spiders, but these were usually 'Gladiator' encounters where investigators would throw together a mantis and another fearsome invertebrate in a jar or cage," Michael Maxwell, the study's co-author and a behavioral ecologist at National University, told me in an email.
Interestingly, this behavior was observed on every continent except Antarctica, spanning twelve mantid species—something the study's lead author Martin Nyffeler, a senior lecturer at the University of Basel, called "a spectacular discovery" in a statement.
"For many of us, the most surprising thing about the new study is the range of non-hummingbirds recorded as mantis prey," Kaufman added. "The others are all very small songbirds, but still, some of them must weigh as much as one-third of an ounce, which seems like a lot for any insect to deal with."
Weirdly, all of the mantises were identified as female. Females aren't necessarily more aggressive, but they do engage in sexual cannibalism if very hungry. Twice, female mantids were observed feeding on a bird while also mating with a male.
Halloweenies like to go big with their decorations, putting their love of the holiday on display for the entire neighborhood to see, and their hard work is either rewarded with cheers or jeers.
But there's one neighborhood in Salt Lake City, Utah that's about to go bananas thanks to the hard work of one Ammon Smith, a 33-year-old woodworker who has become known for his over-the-top Halloween displays.
Ammon used thin strips of wood and chicken wire to build King Kong's form, then he covered the form with black fabric and trash bags for its finished look.
The project took Ammon 80 to 100 hours to complete and cost him a mere $130 but the memories, and the advertising for his home design company Designs On 9th, are priceless.
Overly competitive cooking shows seem so pointless to me because the last thing I want at a restaurant is some panicked cook making the food as fast as they can while the head chef curses loudly at them.
But American competition shows are always overly aggressive, with interpersonal drama and plenty of expletives to bleep out, which is why Gordon Ramsay couldn't wait to hop across the pond and bring hell to American TV! (Comic by The Pigeon Gazette)
Wind farms provide Scotland with much of its power these days, and the Scottish Government would like to have 100% of Scotland's energy to come from renewable energy technology like wind turbines.
Before these massive turbines can be built someone has to deliver the blades to the site, and some of these blades measure 200 feet long so getting them to the site is no small feat.
However, it appears the turbine blades are in good hands, and the driver from Scottish transport company McFaydens who delivers them has figured out how to make extremely tight turns with hundreds of feet of turbine in tow.
See how Mcfadyens from Scotland makes a 90 degrees right turn with a 60 metres blade with railings on both sides on the bridge. Great to see the possibilities of the SWC Super Wing Carrier. Without, it is almost impossible to do such a transport.
What we consider low hanging fruit is a struggle for a chicken to procure, and humans take for granted how easy it is for us to simply pluck an apple off a tree and take a bite.
But an apple is quite the prize for a chicken, and well worth all the effort it takes to jump up and snatch one down off the tree, so they'll hop around all the live long day to sink their beak into that tasty fruit.
And watching a chicken at the Ashley Herb Farm in Market Harborough, Northamptonshire struggle to grab that tasty treat reminds us that we've gotta exercise if we want to eat those sweet treats!
Bon Appétit sounds like a fancy name for a fancy company full of fancy people, but their Test Kitchen Manager Brad Leone isn't some fancy pants culinary snob with expensive tastes- he's just a regular guy who hosts a regular food show called It's Alive with Brad.
Regular host guy Brad is brave enough to host a web series for Bon Appétit knowing what that might do to his regular reputation, and he's also brave enough to go and see how the sausage is made.
So he met with Elias Cairo of Olympia Provisions, who walked him through the process of emulsifying, stuffing, and smoking the meats.
If you're one of those people who likes to pile on the hot sauce until their mouth feels like it's literally on fire then the hot sauces on this chart created by Sriracha2Go are probably too tame for your fireproof tongue.
But if you like a little hot sauce now and then, and don't consider Sriracha or Tapatio to be too tame, then you'll enjoy the control this chart of Popular Hot Sauces Ranked By Scoville Heat Units (SHU) gives you over hotness levels at mealtime.
Looking for a little fire? Splash on the Cholula or Tabasco and savor the burn. Want some hot sauce flavor without too much spice? Reach for the Crystal hot sauce and savor the flavor instead!
When a cat really likes something, whether it's food or a plaything, they have no problem expressing their interest, and some cats will damn near claw their owner's arms off just to get what they're holding.
So take it from the human who lives with Marmalade the cat- if your kitty develops a taste for whipped cream you'd better start whipping it by hand, or they'll climb you like a tree every time you pull the can out of the fridge!
The time loop trope is overused in sci-fi movies and TV shows, and yet when it's done right a time loop story can make quite an emotional impact on viewers who wish they could go back in time and fix the mistakes they made in life.
But Olga Osorio's short film reStart isn't about making things right in the past, thus it bears little resemblance to classic time loop films like Groundhog Day, Primer or Looper because this story is about losing control not regaining it.
Many nerds think dating someone with similar passions will make their relationship healthy by default, as if the mere act of hooking up with a fellow nerd is healthier than dating a non-nerd who might make them feel weird about their passions.
But nerdy relationships can be just as unhealthy as non-nerdy relationships, and if your partner is feeling unhappy, insecure or jealous they'll take it out on you just like any other unhappy partner would.
But as you can see in this comic by JHALL the secret to keeping a relationship healthy is to keep it positive, supportive and above all have fun with your partner, otherwise what's the point?
What is it about chain restaurants that make such a big impression on us when we're young?
Maybe it's the themed decor, the merch or names like Chi-Chi's, Sambo's or Bob's Big Boy that stick out in our minds, but one thing's for sure- it's typically not the food we remember so fondly.
However, if you ate at a Chi-Chi's Restaurant around 2003 when they closed for good you may actually remember the food- because a Hepatitis outbreak in the food suply resulted in three deaths and the death of a hilariously named restaurant chain.
Saying the name Chi-Chi's was fun, but saying the name Sambo's made anyone familiar with the racist slang term feel dirty.
Sambo's original mascot was a dark skinned South Indian boy, based on the racist "pickaninny" character Little Black Sambo, and the mascot didn't sit well with people after the Civil Rights Movement so the chain had a hard time expanding.
The controversy started to kill off Sambo's, but lawsuits, bankruptcy and health code violations finally finished the chain off in the early 80s, leaving only the original Santa Barbara location.
Bob's Big Boy restaurants got their start in California too, and after a while that big smilin' boy holding up the massive burger was synonymous with Route 66 and the American road trip.
I looked forward to taking a picture with my giant fiberglass friend and taking home a Big Boy toy when I was a kid, but Big Boy didn't bring in the dough so most of their locations outside of California closed in the 90s.
The adorable little Porgs are about to become the new Star Wars alien creature people either love or love to hate, and since stores are already full of Porg toys, t-shirts and other merch there will probably be more hate than love.
Perhaps we can deflect some hate and soften your opinion of those innocent imaginary Porgs a bit with this version of the Star Wars Theme Song created entirely out of Porg noises by Volpe Music.
Or, if you find you cannot stand either the song or the Porgs then please accept my apology, I'm just a sucker for a cute sci-fi critter.
Nowadays video games can have a totally nondescript person with a normal haircut and totally normal clothes as the main character because many modern games focus on the storyline instead of the visual gimmicks.
But back in the gimmick-filled 90s video game mascots were all gunning to be the next Mario or Sonic or Crash Bandicoot, so the crazier the character and their wardrobe the better.
And while some of those mascots succeeded in becoming part of video game history others like Rocky Rodent, Awesome Possum and Croc didn't make a very big impression with gamers so for them it was game over.
But a few beloved 90s game mascots may still star in new games despite not making it big like Mario, such as Conker the Squirrel, Banjo Kazooie and Bubsy the Bobcat, who is coming back after 20 years so his new game The Woolies Strike Back had better not suck!
Photoshopper James Fridman has become internet famous for giving the people who send him photos to "fix" exactly what they want- by taking the wording of their requests literally.
Ask to look more mature and James grants your wish by baldening your pate and portfolioing your arm, ask for your creepy girlfriend's creepy eyes to be closed and James will close 'em for ya but good. Wanna be taller than your dad? You got it dude!
James is also the master of using Photoshop to improve people's lives, and he gives great advice on dating- boyfriend keep doing that dumb dabbing "dance"? Dump that dumbass dabbing dude, he's dead weight!
Introversion can affect every bit of a person's life, from the way they dress to their grooming habits to the way they interact with other people, and it can make an introvert feel like they're physically different than extroverts.
But introversion and extroversion are all in our heads, and every extrovert who acts like they're so much better than the shy introvert is hiding a dark secret- they're just a meatsack full of muscles, blood and bones, just like everyone else... (Comic by Pain Train Comics)
Most of the tree trimmers I've hired act like they've fallen out of a tall tree one too many times, so I'm looking for a new way to trim trees that doesn't involve people charging me to mangle my trees.
This self-propelled chainsaw contraption shared on Instagram by Hand Tool Rescue seems like a step in the right direction, and devices like it may someday put tree trimmers out of business.
Very few artists enjoy painting in miniature, and even fewer attempt to add just as much detail to their tiny painting as they would to a full-sized piece.
Which is why painter Chris Seaman is a rare breed of artist indeed, because he has chosen to paint portraits of noble monsters full of lifelike detail on a canvas only a few inches wide.
Chris calls his miniature paintings of noble monsters Cameo Creeps, and they're just the kind of thing you'd find inside a Bride of Frankenstein's locket or on the nightstand next to Mama Cthulhu's bed.
I don't know what it is about the name Helga that conjures up images of a big, burly woman who would make male Vikings tremble in their furry boots, but I apologize to all the Helgas out there for this stigma.
And unfortunately this animated short created by Justin Sklar at the Ringling College of Art & Design isn't helping matters much, although it does have a happy ending for Helga so maybe there's hope for the name Helga after all!
The bedroom is the one room in your house that can be a bit of a mess even when you're entertaining guests because most people don't expect guests will go into their bedrooms so they maintain it to their own taste.
Seeing the inside of a person's bedroom can tell you things about them no other room in the house can, and observing the way they live and where they sleep also says an awful lot about who they are and their economic status.
Portland, Oregon-based photographer Barbara Peacock asked people all over the USA to let her into their homes so she can take a picture of them in their bedrooms for a series meant to reveal "the hidden and transparent complexities of who Americans are as individuals and a nation".
When the cool fall winds start to roll in and the pumpkin spice starts to flow the Halloweenies crawl out of their crypts for the first time in months so they can gather supplies for All Hallows' Eve.
So if you see someone walking around town with a pumpkin on their head just smile and wave- and keep your hands off their candy.
Now that all the Halloween stores are open it's time to prepare for the big night, but if you're looking for an original costume idea don't bother heading to the Halloween stores- unless you're looking to go as the latest "IT" ghoul.
If you haven't started decorating for Halloween yet here's a clever life hack: just buy a drink and a pack of gum at CVS and you'll have enough receipt paper to decorate all the trees in your front yard!
Foodbanks are used to receiving really old canned food donations from the back of people's cabinets, and they often receive sealed cans well past the "eat by" date that they end up throwing away.
But when the Cardiff Foodbank received can of Green Giant Corn Niblets from 1982 they used it as a teachable moment instead of tossing it out, reminding the public that it's important to check those expiry dates before donating.
Then they decided to crack the can open to see what 35-year-old Niblets look like.
Cardiff Foodbank was also given a can of Heinz Kidney Soup from 1971, to which Heinz responded by saying: "Wow! That soup was discontinued over 35 years ago. Should be in a museum rather than a food bank! :)"
When I played Silent Hill 2 for the first time back in 2001 certain elements of the storyline actually gave me nightmares, which was truly impressive considering I was a twenty-something-year-old horror movie fiend.
I appreciated being truly creeped out by a video game, but I didn't really appreciate all the revolutionary gameplay elements and environmental work Konami put in to the creation of Silent Hill 2.
After watching this incredibly revealing episode of Off Camera Secrets by Boundary Break I now see the strange creatures and deeply disturbing storylines are only part of the reason Silent Hill rose to the top of the horror game pyramid.
Nobody can make you feel like an unwanted and unlovable schlub on Tinder quite like a dog, because while people are busy swiping left on your profile pic everyone will swipe right on a pic of a cute dog.
Phil the Alaskan Malamute's owner created a Tinder profile for him to test this theory, and not only did Phil's profile pic get him lots of love it sparked some crazy conversations with humans looking for pets in all the wrong places.
Some people saw Phil's profile and tried to woo him away from his owner with promises of belly rubs, head scratches and biscuits, but it turns out Phil was only in it for the exposure.
Cast reunion photos can look like a bit of a train wreck when the actors who reunite haven't aged well, making fans feel bad for their favorite stars instead of rekindling their passion for the project.
But when the cast is looking good a decade or three later the reunion photos make us want to cheer for those stars all over again.
(The Goonies cast 1985-2015)
It was great to see that most of the cast of The Goonies hadn't gone off the deep end since the film's release thirty years earlier, and seeing the School Of Rock kids all grown up was truly heartwarming.
But to me the most heartwarming cast reunion photo of them all was the Hook 25th Anniversary Reunion, because of Rufio Rufio Rufio Rufiooooooooo!
The corporate logos created for companies like Starbucks, Footlocker and Target were created to be simple yet memorable, a logo that is easily identified by both shape and color from afar.
But how well do people actually remember those famous logos they see every day?
Signs.com challenged 156 people to draw these famous logos from memory, and even though the Target logo is just a target and the Apple logo is just an apple people struggled to perfectly recall their logos.
They called their little experiment Branded In Memory, and it proved that some people simply cannot accurately recall what a logo looks like no matter how simple the design or how many times they've seen it.