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Hummingbirds are known for being the smallest birds in North America, so it’s easy to assume they’re somewhat powerless against most invaders. What if they were at war with insects like praying mantises? After all, it’s just a bug, so it shouldn’t be a problem for the hummingbird to win, right? Let’s take a closer look at the tape story between the praying mantis and the hummingbird, and we’ll tell you why this battle is more complicated than you think!
Comparing Praying Mantises and Hummingbirds
|size||Weight: 0.14oz to 0.18oz |
Length: Between 2.75 inches and 5 inches, but some grow to 6 inches or more
|Weight: 0.07oz-0.7oz |
Height: 2-8 inches
|speed and movement type||0.5 mph||30 mph|
|the senses||– Poor hearing, but able to sense “ultrasound”, the echolocation used by predatory bats |
– Great vision as they are the only invertebrates that can see in 3D
– Scents are limited to pheromones from other people
|– Fantastic vision allowing them to see many different colors, including ultraviolet light |
– Good hearing, especially for high-frequency sounds.
– Little or no sense of smell, but research continues on the topic
|defense||– Male praying mantises can fly, but females cannot |
– Ability to dodge bats effectively
|– speed |
– The ability to fly backwards and upside down helps them stay out of adverse situations
|offensive ability||– Long, powerful, spiny forelimbs help them catch prey |
– Strong mandibles allow them to bite and eat their prey
|– Pecks, but their mouths are small|
|predatory behavior||– Ambush predators that attempt to trap and hold prey as they are quickly eaten||– Eat whole prey|
The key factor in the fight between praying mantises and hummingbirds
Hummingbirds do not have fighting skills, and praying mantises usually win fights with this bird. A fight between a praying mantis and a hummingbird depends on many factors, including size and fighting ability. Many battles in the animal kingdom are determined solely by size and strength, and even the wiliest animals are capable of losing to bigger opponents. That’s why we’re looking at this fight from multiple angles to speculate on which creature is most likely.
What are the main differences between praying mantises and hummingbirds?
The main difference between praying mantis and hummingbird is their species and body size.The praying mantis is a species from Praying Mantis family, hummingbirds are from Nymphalidae family.
Praying mantises are green or brown insects with exoskeletons that have unique features such as wings and raptor arms that give them a distinctive “praying” appearance. Hummingbirds are very small birds with long, thin beaks and iridescent, colorful plumage, and their tiny wings beat 80 times a minute to keep them in the air.
These creatures are so different from each other that they are easy to tell apart, but their differences are not just physical. These animals hunt differently and have full cognitive abilities!
Physical Characteristics of Praying Mantises and Hummingbirds
The physical features of praying mantises and hummingbirds have given us insight into the fighting abilities of these two creatures. By looking at their size, speed, and other factors, we can get a good idea of which animal has the greatest advantage over another in a fight.
Praying Mantis vs. Hummingbird: Size
Hummingbirds are larger than praying mantises. Specifically, praying mantises are generally shorter than hummingbirds, and many of them are also lighter than birds. Praying mantises reach a maximum weight of about 0.18 ounces and can reach a height of 5 inches when standing, although in rare cases, some grow to 6 inches.
Hummingbirds stand between 2 inches and 8 inches tall and weigh only 0.07-0.7 ounces. However, depending on the species, you can find praying mantises that are larger than hummingbirds.
Nonetheless, hummingbirds have a size advantage due to their higher growth potential.
Praying Mantises and Hummingbirds: Speed and Movement
Hummingbirds are much faster than praying mantises. Hummingbirds can fly at 30 miles per hour, but praying mantises can only move on the ground at 0.5 miles per hour. Males can fly, but not very fast, while females cannot fly at all due to their large size. However, the mantis reacts very quickly.
Hummingbirds have an advantage in speed and movement.
Praying Mantises and Hummingbirds: The Senses
Hummingbirds have excellent eyesight and can distinguish colors and shapes, and they also have excellent hearing. Praying mantises can hear ultrasound, which is echolocation used by bats. As the only invertebrates that can see in 3D, they also have amazing vision. However, their low-end senses of smell and hearing put them at a disadvantage.
Hummingbirds have a sensory advantage over praying mantises.
Praying Mantis vs. Hummingbird: Physical Defense
Hummingbirds have only the speed and ability to fly forward, backward and upside down as defenses. Praying mantises, however, can listen for predators and dodge at the last second, or they can use camouflage. While males can fly, females cannot.
All in all, hummingbirds possess more effective physical defenses than praying mantises.
Praying Mantis vs Hummingbird Fighting Skills
Combat is one thing Mantis does right. They are extremely aggressive and very capable predators. Typically, they ambush their prey, grab it with their spiked raptor arms, then use their massive jaws to tear off chunks of prey and begin eating it alive.
Hummingbirds are not good at fighting. They have long beaks, but they are not used for fighting. Instead, hummingbirds will fly towards other birds to scare them away from the nest. They can’t take their entire bill and stab it into another creature. In fact, unless it’s a fatal blow, if a predator manages to sting a creature, their weight could keep them stuck on the ground.
Who would win in a battle between a praying mantis and a hummingbird?
The praying mantis would win the battle with the hummingbird. While it might seem completely counterintuitive to have bugs capable of killing birds, the truth is that hummingbirds are not well suited to kill other creatures.
As video evidence suggests, a battle between these creatures would begin with an ambush. A praying mantis will perch near a hummingbird feeder or among flowers, waiting for a hummingbird to approach, using its color to blend in.
Once the hummingbird gets close enough, the praying mantis will jump out, grab its head, and start biting the little bird. The strength and weight of the praying mantis will cause the hummingbird to rest on the ground and kill it, which can take quite a while.
Unless the hummingbird somehow kills the praying mantis with its beak at the start of the fight, it doesn’t win the fight. However, if a hummingbird spots a praying mantis approaching its young and strikes first, it may win.
I am broadly interested in how human activities influence the ability of wildlife to persist in the modified environments that we create.
Specifically, my research investigates how the configuration and composition of landscapes influence the movement and population dynamics of forest birds. Both natural and human-derived fragmenting of habitat can influence where birds settle, how they access the resources they need to survive and reproduce, and these factors in turn affect population demographics. Most recently, I have been studying the ability of individuals to move through and utilize forested areas which have been modified through timber harvest as they seek out resources for the breeding and postfledging phases. As well I am working in collaboration with Parks Canada scientists to examine in the influence of high density moose populations on forest bird communities in Gros Morne National Park. Many of my projects are conducted in collaboration or consultation with representatives of industry and government agencies, seeking to improve the management and sustainability of natural resource extraction.