In what scientists are calling a spectacular finding, researchers have discovered three-dimensional vision in the praying mantis.
Scientists have put tiny 3D glasses on praying mantises, allowing them to take a much closer look at how this fascinating creature is able to perceive objects in three dimensions. Prior research touched on this issue, but only demonstrated that mantises were able to see in 3D, without really comparing the vision of a praying mantis to that of a human, but this study goes further.
Researchers were able to determine that mantises see 3D differently than humans do, which means they can see some objects in 3D that humans aren’t able to see to that level. It’s called stereo vision, or steropsis, where some animals like humans mantises can tell how far they aware from objects, which is worked into the images detected by the brain.
Scientists fitted some 3D glasses to the eyes of the mantises using beeswax, and they showed them some 3D footage. They were able to respond to footage of insects by trying to catch a meal, and so scientists tested them with vision tests that are given to humans.
“This is a completely new form of 3D vision as it is based on change over time instead of static images,” said behavioural ecologist, Dr Vivek Nityananda at Newcastle University. “In mantises it is probably designed to answer the question ‘is there prey at the right distance for me to catch?’”