Tag Archives: dragonfly

Prediction of the prey’s path by dragonflies

Hunting a moving target involves reaction to the prey’s movement, so you would think. It involves, however, in vertebrates also a model how the prey may move, to be able to predict the possible flight routes. This model was thought to be lacking in invertebrates.

In a paper in Nature Mischiati and colleagues describe that dragonflies have this internal model, too. They show that vision is to react to the prey’s escape but underlying the dragonfly’s steering is brain model how the prey might fly. You have to keep in mind that dragonflies hunt in 3D and not in 2D as tetrapods do. We are proud that comet lander does find and land on the target some 100000 miles away, and use immense computer power for this task. Dragonflies have it all in their tiny heads.

The paper uses fly models in the lab as prey. It will be some time before it will be possible to test the facts on free flying dragonfly. But it is a nice piece of information already.