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Praying mantises get fitted with 3D glasses, watch bug movies

Article posted on CNET.com by Eric Mack January 8, 2016

The 3D-video craze may have died down a bit from a few years ago when every other new flat screen or Hollywood blockbuster seemed to be boasting the tech, but scientists may have found a new group that will be more than happy to wear the specs — praying mantises.

Yes, that’s right. Scientists actually outfitted the odd insects with tiny 3D glasses to confirm that they actually see and hunt in 3D vision. I’ve been staring at the below picture for a while now of the green and blue lenses affixed to a praying mantis’ head with beeswax and I still can’t decide if it’s cute or creepy.

Researchers have suspected for years that mantises see in 3D, but scientists from Newcastle University in the U.K. finally hit on the right design of glasses for the insects.

The idea is the same as the old-school red and blue polarized glasses used at 3D movies, but the researchers used green instead of red because the bugs see that color much better. After being fitted with their new custom specs, the creepy-crawly subjects were shown short videos of tasty bugs in 3D, and they struck out at them. When shown the same images in 2D, they didn’t go for the bait.

Read entire article on CNET.com

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