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15 Totally Crazy (and Deadly) Moves That Animals Really Use to Hunt Prey

Updated July 27, 2020 1.4k votes 368 voters 44.7k views15 items

List RulesVote up the craziest hunting techniques that predators really do in the wild.

For predators, getting a meal requires skill, wit, and a hunting technique that's a cut above the rest. Animals can't just go into a place, guns blazing, and kill their desired prey. They have to be cunning! The way that these animals hunt and capture prey will surprise (and probably also scare) you. From the stoat’s Elaine Benes dance to the SURPRISE! move of the trapdoor spider, these predators are using what nature gave them in their methods for hunting. 

There are various levels to the horror and beauty of a how a predator hunts prey. There’s the beautiful symmetry of the bottlenose dolphin and then there’s the unceremonious drop from a high place that the golden eagle uses. Then there’s the secretary bird that literally stomps the world’s deadliest snakes to death like a supermodel stamping out a cigarette with a stiletto. Weird and hilarious, but effective. 

Some animals are smarter than they are given credit for. The wolverine can sniff out a hibernating animal from 20 feet above the snow. The green heron goes fishing, using twigs and even a piece of bread to draw prey to the surface of the water. Then there’s the group hunt. Humpback whales create a bubble net for a mouthful of fishy goodness. Bottlenose dolphins make mud nets with their tail fins, causing frightened fish to pop right into their mouths. 

Whatever their methods, how animals hunt (and how effective they are) determine the survival of their own species. Let’s check out the craziest predator attack moves.

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  • Golden Eagles Pick Up Goats an is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 15 Totally Crazy (and Deadly) Moves That Animals Really Use to Hunt Prey
    Video: YouTube

    DO NOT watch this video if you are a fan of goats (if you do watch it, start at 6:20 to see the action). This is completely terrifying/badass depending on what side you're on. The golden eagle is able to swoop down from the sky, pick up animals as heavy as 260 lbs mid-flight, and throw them off the side of a mountain. 

    Remember that 2012 video of a golden eagle snatching up a toddler while his helpless dad stood there? Well, that was fake. But given what scientists know about their capabilities, that scenario isn't totally out of the question. 

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  • The Stoat Dances Like a Crazy  is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 15 Totally Crazy (and Deadly) Moves That Animals Really Use to Hunt Prey
    Video: YouTube

    This weasel is cute and all but when she craves rabbits, she calls upon her predator super power. . . hypnotic dancing. To get the rabbit’s attention, the stoat dances like that one friend of yours who doesn’t drink but gets buzzed off two beers and dances like Elaine Benes at the office Christmas party. It’s effective. The rabbit, fascinated/horrified/judgy, becomes dinner. 

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    Mantis Shrimp Can Mess Sh*t Up with Their Powerful Punches

    Mantis Shrimp Can Mess Sh*t Up is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 15 Totally Crazy (and Deadly) Moves That Animals Really Use to Hunt Prey
    Video: YouTube

    This four inch long "shrimp" is actually one of the strongest animals in the world, pound for pound. Mantis shrimp use clubs (sort of like elbows) to punch their prey with incredible strength that's on par with the force of a bullet shot from a 22 caliber gun. The speed of these punches (up to 50 mph) can easily break the shells of crabs and clams. Watch the video, it's insane. 

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  • Bottlenose Dolphins Trap Fish  is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 15 Totally Crazy (and Deadly) Moves That Animals Really Use to Hunt Prey
    Video: YouTube

    Using their tail fins to slap the mud below shallow water, these dolphins work together to stir up the surface of the sea and create a mud ring that fish can't swim through. When the fish jump out of the water to escape, they conveniently land in the dolphins' mouths.

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