15 May 2011
A gruesome kill
Posted by Callan Bentley
Camping this weekend; when we took the rain fly off the tent this morning, we found this gruesome scene of a predator and its prey, a miniature drama that played itself out above our heads while we slept:
I love macro photography of critters like these… tiny dramas revealed!
Great photo! I enjoy seeing dramas like that. One of the best was when my dad and I watched some kind of really vicious predator insect chasing and trying to kill a snail on Wade Mountain in northern Alabama. Generally we would just watch such things, but my dad decided that the snail had put up such a valiant battle (we noticed what was going on because the snail was moving so fast) that he carefully removed the monster bug (not sure what they are, but they live in the limestone boulder fields of Wade Mountain–brightly colored and really efficient predators). The snail’s defense against the attacker was complicated–it involved what I could only describe as “running” (for a snail), putting out jillions of bubbles of mucus in an attempt to confuse the attacker and act as a kind of buffer, and–best of all–holding still and letting the predator get close, and then suddenly snapping its shell toward the attacker, which actually worked by striking the other animal a couple of times. Finally, though, it looked like the predator insect was going to get the best of it, so my dad pushed it out of the way with a stick, and then carried the snail away to what seemed to him to be a safer location. Yeah, he denied a meal for the monster bug, but that snail’s fight got to him.