Dragonflies Are Fiercer Than They Appear


Dragonflies are usually seen as dainty insects, but in reality they are very ferocious. Dragonflies gobble down their prey after catching it in mid-air. They seem to have an infinite appetite, they will continue eating as long as there is still food available.

Dragonflies have nervous systems similar to those of humans, and near-human attention spans. This means they are able to focus very carefully on a single animal when they are about to attack. Good hunters, dragonflies can dive quickly, hover for long periods of time, fly as fast as 30mph, and rotate 360 degrees using only three wing beats. Their eyes have around 30,000 pixelated pieces that make it possible for them to look at things in many different ways and help them scout out prey. All of these abilities allow dragonflies to catch over 95 percent of their prey.

There are not many animals in their species, which is Odonata, a New Latin root meaning “toothed ones.” They can be distinguished by their large eyes, short antennae, their commonly transparent wings, extendable jaws, and long skinny bodies. Dragonflies come in many colors, which can change as they mature. However, they do not always change their colors; some are just multicolored. The most common colors of dragonflies are blue and green.

The magnificence of dragonflies is not commonly noticed. Most people do not know about their fantastic pixelated eyes, the deadly effectiveness of their hunting skills, or that they have very big appetites for their small size. Next time you see a dragonfly maybe you'll see beyond their dainty appearance.

[Source: National Wildlife Federation, Merriam Webster Unabridged Dictionary]

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