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A


green dragonfly lands on a leaf.


It waits. Soon, a mosquito buzzes by. T e dragonfly takes off . It chases the mosquito. It zigs and zags. T e mosquito is always one zig or zag ahead of the dragonfly. Suddenly, the dragonfly speeds


up. It catches the mosquito. T en the dragonfly eats the mosquito without even landing. Flies and mosquitoes better


beware! A dragonfly is built to hunt. It’s a predator. T at means it’s a carnivore that eats meat.


Mighty Hunters T ere are a lot of predators in the animal kingdom. Dragonflies may be one of the toughest. T ink about this. A lion is a


skillful predator. A lion chases prey until the lion catches the prey. T en the lion feasts. First, the lion must catch its prey, though. Sadly for the lion, the prey oſt en escapes. In the same way, the great white


shark is a top predator. It stalks its prey over long distances. Yet half the time, the prey gets away. T e dragonfly, however, is successful almost every time it hunts.


A Dragonfly’s Eyes A dragonfly’s search for prey begins with its eyes. T e head of a dragonfly is almost all eye. It has larger eyes than any other insect. A dragonfly’s eyes aren’t like yours,


This dragonfl y clings to a branch, looking for prey.


though. You have only one lens in each eye. A dragonfly has compound eyes. All insects do. Each compound eye has lots of lenses. Some dragonflies have as many as 30,000 lenses in each eye. Having large eyes and many lenses


helps a dragonfly see in many directions. It can see things in front of, to the side of, and behind it.


4 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC EXPLORER


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