Tuesday, February 17, 2009

predatory animal

If efficient goal pursuit is similar to hunting, and predatory animals symbolize hunting, which predator might represent this best?

Phyllocrania paradoxa
Able to actively hunt or ambush with lightning fast limbs and sharp vision, while remaining camouflaged in appearance and motion, the praying mantis wins my vote for most successful predator. As PZ noted, evolution does not create perfect predators, but only "good enough". Even so, though mantids primarily catch and eat other invertebrates, they are notorious for a taxonomically diverse diet that may include amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, given the opportunity. Considering we are talking about a lowly insect, whose closest relatives are cockroaches, this is no small feat.