By their very predatory nature?
Do what they can…
To get into the heads of their prey.
And once there?
They spring their very cunning traps:
[via Cracked] The 5 Most Impressively Convoluted Traps Set by Animals ~by Monte Richard, Andrew Heaton
There is a natural order to things, a set of immutable rules that all beasts must adhere to: The strong eat the weak, the fast catch the slow, the early bird gets the worm, don’t fuck with the honey badger, never go to Australia without life insurance, and so on and so forth. But just like with humans, some animals refuse to play by the rules …
#5. Stoats Exploit a Glitch in the Rabbit Matrix
Stoats employ an ingenious hunting tactic, carefully refined over countless millennia, and it goes like this: They flip the f*ck out.
When a stoat encounters a rabbit, its natural prey, the standoff is intense. The bunny is both instinctively wary of and much faster than the stoat in a straight-out chase, but if the predator gets close enough to its prey, it can strike faster than the rabbit can run. There’s a small moment of opportunity between when the rabbit registers the stoat as a threat and when it bolts. In that moment, the stoat goes methodically, scientifically nutbar. It starts jumping, twisting, rolling, and flopping around at complete random. The jerky movements are somewhere between “stop, drop, and roll” and “the worm,” as performed by an octopus in the middle of an aneurysm.
But with every confusing twitch and convulsion, the stoat inches ever closer to its target. And for no particular reason, the rabbit stays put. The bunnies display some classic signs of hypnosis: They’re both curious and lethargic, seemingly mesmerized by the ridiculous shenanigans going on in front of them, unaware of emotional cues like “this thing is crazy” and “I’m pretty sure it usually eats me at this point.” Soon the stoat’s flailing, undignified dance brings it within striking distance, and boom: No more rabbit. Researchers don’t fully understand why Mr. Hoppy just sits there and watches his ridiculous spastic death break dance inexorably toward his own face, but the stoat’s epileptic war dance works consistently. This is not a one-off thing. This is not a handful of stoats occasionally deploying lethal funkiness. This is a persistent hunting strategy employed by whole stoat species throughout the ages.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a tactical freakout.
#4. Birds and Cats Are Deadly Ventriloquists
Humanity has just begun to truly appreciate how sophisticated animal language is. Most of the complex language skills employed by animals are social or defensive: They primarily communicate emotional states, or warn the pack of danger. Most are defensive — but not all.
In the unforgiving Kalahari Desert, meerkats are the adorable treat hawks love to eat. Fortunately for the meerkats, they’ve got lookouts. When one meerkat screams “hawk,” they all take off for cover. That’s standard animal stuff, though, right? The cry is probably no more verbally complex than “danger,” which doesn’t put them beyond the level of, say, a paranoid squirrel. But something else has been learning the meerkat language as well: the drongo bird.
When the drongo sees that a meerkat has found something tasty, the bird will maneuver into position, wait for its moment, and then suddenly yell out the pitch-perfect Meerese word for “hawk.” And of course, every one of the prey animals drops what it’s doing (or eating) and runs for its life. That’s when the drongo swoops in and nabs a free meal.
It’s not a simple case of meerkats being stupid, either: Scientists studying these interactions have found that the bird calls are practically indistinguishable from the real thing. And it turns out that the drongo is multilingual: They not only mix up the types of danger calls to keep the meerkats guessing, but run the same type of scam on a bird called a babbler — but with the drongo using the Babblonian word for “hawk,” obviously.
Babblers don’t speak Meerese; that would be ridiculous.
On the other side of the world, in the jungles of South America, a tamarin hears the cries of a lost baby coming from the bushes. Confused and concerned, it goes to investigate. When it pokes its head through the brush trying to locate the sound, an adorable bug-eyed squirrel-cat rips its friggin’ head off.
There have long been anecdotal reports of jaguars and pumas mimicking primate calls, but now scientists have witnessed it happening firsthand. A jungle cat called a margay has been observed luring a monkey down from the trees by emulating the distressed cries of baby monkeys. We don’t want to overstate the creepiness of this development or anything — we’re just saying that next time you hear crying on the baby monitor, bring both a bottle and a gun.
There’s probably a tiger up there.
…[Read More - See all 5 HERE!]
And long before?
Their prey even realizes…
It has fallen into one.
None more so cunning?
[via LiveScience] How Spiderweb’s Shocking Charge Captures Prey ~by Tia Ghose
Spiders may trap unsuspecting prey by sucking them in using electrostatic attraction, new research suggests.
The new study, published today (July 4) in the journal Scientific Reports, found that the spiderweb of the common cross spider (or garden spider) is attracted to electrically charged objects, with the sticky threads of spider silk arcing toward each other in response to a charged object.
Stroke of inspiration
Some flying insects, as they flap their wings, for instance, generate an electric charge. As such the new results suggest that charged bugs such as honeybees could be sucked into, and then trapped by, a spider’s sticky web as they fly by. [Ewww! Photos of Bat-Eating Spiders]
“Charged insects can produce a deformation of a spiderweb,” said study co-author Victor Ortega-Jimenez, a biologist at the University of California, Berkeley. “Any insect that is flying very close to the spiderweb can be trapped by the electrostatic effect.”
Ortega-Jimenez noticed this phenomenon while playing with a simple toy with his daughter: an electrostatically charged “magic wand” that can cause objects such as paper to levitate. While doing so, they decided to charge up a few insects and even brought it near a spiderweb that was nearby, which deformed in response to the magic wand
He also knew that honeybees generate an electric charge of up to 200 volts as they flap their wings, which may help them pick up pollen from negatively charged flowers. Several studies have revealed that spiderwebs can dramatically deform in response to prey. So he wondered whether spiderwebs could use electrostatic attraction to lure prey.
To find out, Ortega-Jimenez and his colleague Robert Dudley gathered spiderwebs of the cross spider (Araneus diadematus) from around the UC Berkeley campus. Back at the lab, they studied how the spiderwebs responded to electrically charged objects.
They found that the web and positively charged objects were attracted to one another. What’s more, the silk threads of the spiderweb curved toward each other underneath a charged honeybee that was falling toward it, making it likelier that the hapless insect would get entangled in the deadly web. The deformation was nearly half the length of the insects, a fairly big change.
Cause they uses the SCIENCE of electrostatic attraction!
And just the thought of spiders using Science?
Oh, I must say…
It makes me far more uncomfortable than one could ever imagine.
Cause if they can use Science for this?
What, in the baby-Jesus’-name, could be next?!?!
The prospects are almost too terrifying to consider.