Dragonflies are the most effective predator in the animal world. How do other predators stack up?

The world can be a rough place for some animals. The capture of prey is necessary for survival, obviously, but not all species are in the same league in terms of effectiveness.

The dragonfly stands above the rest in this category. They have earned the distinction of successfully snatching about 95% of their targeted food. As if that weren’t a difficult enough task, the fact that their prey is usually captured in midair adds another reason to be in awe of the dragonfly’s unmatched effectiveness.

For some fresh perspective, compare the lion, for instance. It struggles to catch a quarter of all the prey it pursues. To take another example, look at the great white shark. For all its fearsomeness, it still manages to catch only about half the prey it goes after.

So what is the key to the dragonfly’s success? Scientists have found that they possess a nervous system that allows them to focus sharply on a single object. The neurons that connect the dragonfly’s brain to its flight motor center create a unique ability to follow a moving target, calculate its future position, skillfully change flight paths, and finally, capture a meal.

Then the process starts over again. Dragonflies go beyond having the capacity to capture prey just once. They have an appetite that can seem nearly impossible to satisfy.

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Octopi are so intelligent that they're considered honorary vertebrates in animal cruelty laws!

The octopus isn’t the first animal that comes to mind when most people think of intelligent animals. That may make sense given that octopi are classified are invertebrates and belong to the mollusk family. In fact, there are some mollusks that do not have brains at all, such as the clam.

To say that Octopi are intelligent animals requires some definition of what is meant by “intelligence.” Well, they are capable of having emotions, displaying individual personalities, playing with toys, and can even form relationships with people.

These traits are rare among animals, being that only a few species have those abilities to any great extent. Chimpanzees are one example, but that’s hardly unexpected, since they are closely related to humans. In contrast, Octopi are not at all closely related to human beings.

An octopus has a brain about the size of a walnut, which is the largest brain of any invertebrate. It contains an estimated 130 million neurons. Though many are stored in the arms, they are a good indicator of an animal’s intelligence.

Researchers are aware that we cannot know with complete certainty how various animals perceive the world, but we are discovering new things all the time that we never expected.

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Some LEGO employees get LEGO people business cards!

This is a very creative way to get your brand out. Some senior LEGO staff get a minifig that looks like them to hand out instead of business cards. Check out the card on the right. Pretty creative no?

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Locusts are not a separate species of insect. What are they then?

If you thought locusts were a species in their own right, you would be far from alone. It is quite a common misconception.

In reality, what we call locusts are really grasshoppers during a certain phase of their life cycles called the swarming phase. The polymorphic grasshopper (a grasshopper that has the ability to change its physical form) may go through a swarming phase. This phase can be brought on by chemicals or overcrowding. It is during that time when they are called locusts.

As locusts, grasshoppers become much stronger, more active, and interact more with each other. Perhaps that is why locusts are associated with huge swarms more so than grasshoppers. As swarms, their superior numbers give them a great advantage when compared with grasshoppers that live as individuals.

It is because of their activity as swarms that locusts have gained such a bad reputation. They have been known to cause millions of dollars in damage to crops. In the 19th century, Rocky Mountain locusts caused trouble across the Western U.S. When 12 trillion locusts devastated nearly 200,000 square miles of agriculture. It was possibly the largest concentration of animals in the history of the world!

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If you ever get tired of trading on Wall Street, Somalia has its own pirate stock exchange anyone can participate in!

Looking to make it rich in Somalia? Chances are, you're going to have to get involved with pirates. Luckily, you don't have to go and risk your neck swashbuckling the modern military forces patrolling the seas. Simply invest in a pirate group and wait for your returns—or you can try to get an honest job, which we recommend.

Pirates need money and supplies to get their scummy, illegal job done. But you can't walk into a bank and ask for a business loan to get your pirate's den off the ground—you have to secure capital another way. That's where the pirate stock exchange comes in, which was established in 2009 in Harardheere. Successful heists can bank up to $10 million against Western commercial vessels, and the pirates are allowing investors to get into the action.

The town of Harardheere has transformed from a small fishing village into a vibrant pirate's “Wall Street” complete with luxury cars and suits. The district government collects on every dollar which is put toward schools, hospitals and other public needs.

So, if you're looking for the next hot investment and you don't care if your business partners are violently stealing stuff, Somalia may be the place for you.

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