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Praying Mantises Wearing 3D Glasses

Most predators use stereoscopic vision for depth perception, including cats, dogs, and humans. We have two eyes facing forward, and the difference between the images that are perceived by each eye give us clues about how far away an object is. But what about predatory insects? To find out, researchers put tiny little 3D glasses on praying mantises. Really.

Birds and mammals can see in 3D using the differences between the images observed by each eye. But, the researchers at Newcastle University found, praying mantises have evolved a system that’s based on how each image changes. More importantly, as I said before, this involved attaching teeny goggles onto teeny mantis faces with beeswax.

So if you are an insect and a praying mantis is watching you, your best bet is to be very, very still. See a video of how they did this experiment at Gizmodo.

(Image credit: Newcastle University)


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