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Who says insects can't be fashionable? Mantises now sport 3D glasses

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 14 February 2017, 5:13 IST
So you though 3D glasses were only meant for humans to flaunt. Think again!

Scientists have fitted a number of Praying Mantises with 3D shades. The creepy crawly clan - which contains over 2,400 species and about 430 genera in 15 families - has been given the glasses in a bid to allow scientists to study their 3D vision and explore how they use it for hunting.

Insects 3 D glasses

Photo: Newcastle University

According to professor of vision science at Newcastle University in England, Dr Jenny Read, the experiment could help scientists develop new ideas to use 3D technology.

Beewax was used to attach the glasses to the mantises. The creatures were then shown short clips of their prey - smaller bugs. Here's where it gets interesting. The mantises did not react to the 2D version of the video but immediately attacked when it was shown in 3D.

"Despite their minute brains, mantises are sophisticated visual hunters which can capture prey with terrifying efficiency. We can learn a lot by studying how they perceive the world," Read said.

3 D glasses insects

Photo: Newcastle University

"Better understanding of their simpler processing systems helps us understand how 3D vision evolved, and could lead to possible new algorithms for 3D depth perception in computers.

"3D vision has great potential in the field of robot navigation. A research associate at the university and a co-author of the study, Dr Ghaith Tarawneh said, "Robots rely on getting information from the environments. You want the robot to understand somehow its environment and perhaps move towards particular goals and it needs some sort of understanding of the environment based on visual input."

First published: 11 January 2016, 1:19 IST