Photo: Praying mantis strikes a pose

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Our photo of the day is a lesson in perspective.

Upon first glance, this beguiling mantis seems to be saying, "Hey, what's up?!" ... I mean, consider this: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But anyone who knows these incredible carnivores knows that they're all business, and in fact, this is a threatening pose. Showing off their lethal legs is the giveaway. In my ode to the mantis (11 wondrous facts about praying mantises), I wrote: "Praying mantises wait to ambush or patiently stalk their prey; but once they’re ready to strike, they do so with lightning speed, attacking with those big front legs so quickly that it’s hard to see with the naked eye. In addition, they have spikes on their legs to skewer and pin the victims into place."

Which is all to say, while this defensive pose may look humorous to us big humans, imagine what it would look like to a much smaller creature considering it for dinner. I can think of two words: Run. Away.

Thank you to davygenney for the photo.

More on mantises:

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