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Once ensnared, the odds were pretty grim: The researchers note that only two percent of birds managed to escape the insects’ oversized claws, although some 20 percent were freed by humans. S., where praying mantises were released decades ago in an attempt to control pests.As enthusiastic predators, mantises are happy to chow down on anything they can get their claws on though, and hummingbirds happen to be squarely in their sights. The number of birds killed by mantises still pales in comparison to those killed by cats and man-made objects like wind turbines, however.About 80% of all members of the order Mantodea belong to a single family, the Mantidae.

The fragile, fleet-winged birds often don’t make it past their first year of life as they are tasty snacks for cats, large-mouth bass, snakes, lizards…you get the idea.

Now, perhaps surprisingly, we can add praying mantises to that macabre list.

The term can also be applied to larger groups of organisms, as in "the adaptive radiation of mammals." adaptive strategies: A mode of coping with competition or environmental conditions on an evolutionary time scale.

Species adapt when succeeding generations emphasize beneficial characteristics.

acquired trait: A phenotypic characteristic, acquired during growth and development, that is not genetically based and therefore cannot be passed on to the next generation (for example, the large muscles of a weightlifter).