This was meant to simulate prey in front of the target, like one of those 3D images you have to cross your eyes to see. When the moving dots arrived to a spot where they appeared at a strike-able distance, the mantis struck. The researchers set up a number of trials comparing how the mantises reacted to different dots moving in different ways. The dots didn’t need to match up to one another, lead author Vivek Nityananda told The Washington Post. They just needed to be moving.


It’s not the first time we’ve written about the silly mantis glasses. But the most important difference was, well, last time we learned the bugs could see in 3D. Now we know how.

This is still a lab trial and no one knows what the praying mantis is really seeing. But it appeared to the researchers that “mantis [depth perception] is computationally simple enough to implement in a brain of one million neurons and—remarkably—successfully detects stereoscopic distance in images where human [depth perception] fails.”

Once again, those glasses. Dang.

[Current Biology via The Washington Post]