Brutal Facts about Dragonflies

Tuesday, 23 April 2013
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I always knew that Dragonflies were enemies to insects but I had no idea they were as cold, calculating and viscous as they actually are.

The top-10 list website, Listverse has set of 10 surprising facts about dragonflies. Here is my favourite fun-fact from the list:

Fact: They Can Isolate Their Prey in a Swarm

Dr. S.D. Wiederman discovered when he began studying the way Emerald dragonflies select their prey. Curious about the way dragonflies hunt, Dr. Wiederman and his team placed a nano-electrode inside the visual processing neuron of a dragonfly. They then positioned the "subject" in front of a TV monitor with two moving objects.

In simple nervous systems, multiple objects tend to fade out; the insect can’t handle the attention multitasking. But dragonflies have the ability to switch their attention between objects at will. Under observation, the dragonfly focused first on one object, then shifted to watch the second, then shifted back to the first again, never losing track of where they were. This selective attention span allows the dragonfly to single out one target in a swarm, then zero in on it exclusively-while remaining aware of the rest of the swarm to avoid a collision.

All I can say is thank goodness that they are not big enough to hunt us.

More dragonfly fun-facts on Listverse.

Photo credit: Dragon Fly | Flickr by meke http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/deed.en_CA / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

 

David Johnston

David Johnston

David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.

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