The video below shows a bizzare twist of natural predator-prey roles.  We normally see birds digging up worms and snatching insects from twigs.  In this case a powerful and bold mantid was able to overcome a hummingbird and devour it.

Hummingbirds are wonders of nature with a unique gift of flight that has astonished scientist for centuries and have been the subject of case studies involving flight.  It is one of the smallest birds in the world, with wings so fast that they have been clocked 10-90 times per second depending on the species.  They are the only birds that can "hover" in one spot and fly backwards.  They have a high insect-like metabolism with a heart rate as high as 1200 beats per minute (that 20 beats per second!).

They use up so much energy that they are literally only hours from starving to death.  "They must eat throughout the day.  In contrast, the mantid conserves energy with its camouflage and endless patience and stillness.  A hummingbird will travel miles from flower to flower, drinking more than its mass in nectar per day!  They can also fly at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour, which is proportunately comparable to a fighter jet's speed when you consider how small they are.

The preying mantis is no slouch when it come to speed as well.   A Carolina mantis can actually strike twice at a house fly before it can even move its wings to fly!  It is no wonder why Chinese martial artists have employed this type of speed and reflex into a kung fu style.  Yet, no human can come close to this kind of speed, even with training.

These are the reasons why we study and are continually facsinated by the world of insects and animals.  They can do many things humans cannot do and can only wish to do. 

These are the things that intrigue me and inspired me to start this website and allowed me to reach hundreds of readers all around the world.  I hope others will be inspired to share their ideas and possibly start a website as well.  That would make all I have done truly worthwhile.

Imagine the power in that snap!  The mantis could have easily gotten killed by one of those helicopter blades of the hummingbird.  This was kind of sad to see, but interesting nonetheless.
By Noy Ilao