Despite the title, these photos by Singapore-based photographer Nicky Bay are more impressive in terms of their drama — how did he get these shots! — than they are gruesome. I will happily skip the “mammal” version of this photo set. (Also, we aren’t sure how to parse out the cagefight/deathmatch loyalties in the bottom photo.)
Via Wired Science.
…here is the minicosmos at its most raw and instinctual, engaged in the same struggle to survive that permeates every kingdom of life on Earth. Just as you see in nature documentaries on TV, the struggle has winners and losers. Except here, the drama doesn’t unfold in the thundering of hooves during a savannah stampede or in the snowy, slippery chase that either leaves wolf pups hungry or ends with one fewer caribou calf.
It’s in the clever — and sometimes downright sadistic — strategies used by insects and spiders to catch and eat their prey. Some of these schemes, like that of the assassin bug, are truly astonishing. Others, like the wasp that pulls the legs off its arachnid meals, make us wince.