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Praying mantis’s lethal strike highlights

How fast they attack depends on the speed of their prey

Though these strikes are completed in microseconds, the long-armed predators calibrate their attacks even more quickly than that, adjusting to prey’s speed and movements; praying mantises can even halt mistimed attacks mid-strike, scientists reported in a new study.

Related: Lunch on the wing: Mantises snack on birds (photos)

Mantises are ambush predators; rather than stalking or chasing their prey, they select a perch and then wait, motionless, their spike-studded arms folded and ready. When an unsuspecting victim wanders too close, the mantis lunges and grabs, holding tight to the prey’s wriggling body. The mantis then begins to feed on its living victim almost immediately.

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