Praying Mantises are known for eating their male partners while mating. However, a shocking phenomenon occurs worldwide where mantises kill small birds and eat their brains.
Based on documentary cases, praying mantises hunt down small birds – mostly hummingbirds are main victims.
Carnivorous mantises most frequently feed on insects or spiders.
However, zoologists from Switzerland and the United States have published a research indicating that mantises also kill and devour small birds on all the continents except Antarctica.
But here’s the true horror of the situation, Newsweek interviewed two scientists connected the research and told them about the method mantises use for their avian consumption.
Biologist William Brown of the State University of New York at Fredonia said:
“The mantises usually “pierce the skull to feed on brain tissue.”
Retired ecologist Dietrich Mebs also provided some color about the process saying, “They just hold [their prey], and they eat them while they are still alive, slowly and slowly until there is nothing left.”
This worldwide phenomenon is determined by the records from published studies, academic papers, and even social media posts. Record shows 147 documented cases, spanning 13 countries of mantises capturing birds. The earliest case was from 1864, but 67 percent of the cases were between 2000 and 2015.
Apparently, it is unknown how often mantises eat birds.
Researchers’ most relevant finding was that mantises engage in the behavior all over the world.
Watch this footage:
Meanwhile, the most frequently documented victims of the mantises were ruby-throated hummingbirds in the United States.
More than 70 percent of the cases found were mantises eating hummingbirds in the U.S., and most of the victims were visiting hummingbird feeders on home gardens.
Apparently, the high numbers humming bird encounters are said to be linked to non-native species of large mantises that people released across North America decades ago in an attempt at “pest control.”
But researchers’ noted there are also native mantises that prey on birds.
Martin Nyffeler, the lead author of the study titled “Praying Mantises Hunt Down Birds Worldwide.” said in a statement, “Our study shows the threat mantises pose to some bird populations. Thus, great caution is advised when releasing mantises for pest control.”