Science Snippet: Dragonflies Are One of the Most Effective Predators in Animal Kingdom

Here are some facts about one of the most successful predators on the planet. “African lions roar and strut and act the apex carnivore, but they’re lucky to catch 25 percent of the prey they pursue. Great white sharks have 300 slashing teeth and that ominous soundtrack, and still nearly half their hunts fail. Dragonflies, by contrast, look dainty, glittery and fun, like a bubble bath or costume jewelry, and they’re often grouped with butterflies and ladybugs on the very short list of insects people like. Yet they are also voracious aerial predators, and new research suggests they may well be the most brutally effective hunters in the animal kingdom.” “… they manage to snatch their targets in midair more than 95 percent of the time…consuming the fresh meat on the spur without bothering to alight.” Next time you see a dragonfly looking you over, be thankful you are not the size of a deerfly or mosquito. (Natalie Angier, 2013, The New York Times, April 1, 2013)

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