Meeting a Wormlion Is the Pits | Deep Look
Meeting a Wormlion Is the Pits Deep Look

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Straight out of science fiction, the fearsome wormlion ambushes prey at the bottom of a tidy - and terrifying - sand pit, then flicks their carcasses out. These meals fuel its transformation into something unexpected. SUBSCRIBE to Deep Look! Join our community on Patreon! DEEP LOOK is a ultra-HD (4K) short video series created by KQED San Francisco and presented by PBS Digital Studios. See the unseen at the very edge of our visible world. Explore big scientific mysteries by going incredibly small. --- Ominous creatures that lurk deep underground in the desert, like the sandworms in the classic science fiction novel "Dune," aren’t just make-believe. For ants and other prey, wormlions are a terrifying reality. While quite small—they can grow up to an inch—wormlions are fly larvae that curl up their bodies like slingshots. Usually found under rock or log overhangs in dry, sandy landscapes, they’ll energetically fling soil, sand and pebbles out of the way to dig pit traps. Once an unlucky critter falls in, wormlions move at lightning speed and quickly wrap their bodies around their victims. Squeezing them like boa constrictors, they also inject them with a paralyzing venom. They feed this way for several years, until they transform into adults. Joyce Gross, a computer programmer for the UC Berkeley Natural History Museums, is fascinated by their unique hunting behavior. “They have such a weird life history," she said. "They're the only flies that dig pits like this, and wait for prey to fall in, just like antlions.” ---+ Read the entire article on KQED Science: --- Are antlions and wormlions related? While they use a similar hunting technique with pitfall traps, they’re actually two separate species. --- How are antlions and wormlions different from each other? Antlions have big jaws, while wormlions have tiny mouthparts typical of other flies. They also dig pits differently. Antlions (genus Myrmeleon) create deeper pits by digging backwards in a spiral-shaped path. ---+ For more information: Read "Demons of the Dust" (1930) by William Morton Wheeler: ---+ More Great Deep Look episodes: Creepy Crawly Videos: ---+ Shoutout! 🏆Congratulations 🏆to the following fans for correctly identifying the creature's genus in our community tab challenge: Gar Báge, Phil Conti, Pikaia Battaile, Trinidadmax, and BorderLander . ---+ Thank you to our Top Patreon Supporters ($10+ per month)! ThePeaceOfBread, Jeremy Gutierrez, Bill Cass, Justin Bull, Daniel Weinstein, Chris B Emrick, Karen Reynolds, Tea Torvinen, m_drunk, David Deshpande, Noah Hess, Daisuke Goto, Companion Cube, WhatzGames, Edwin, ThePeaceOfBread, Richard Shalumov, Elizabeth Ann Ditz, pearsryummy, Samuel Bean, Shirley Washburn, Kristell Esquivel , Jiayang Li, Jeremy Gutierrez, Carlos Zepeda, KW, johanna reis, Robert Warner, Monica Albe, Elizabeth Wolden, Cindy McGill, Sayantan Dasgupta, Robert Amling, Kilillith, Shelley Pearson Cranshaw, Pamela Parker, Kendall Rasmussen, Joshua Murallon Robertson, Kenia Villegas, Breanna Tarnawsky, Sonia Tanlimco, Bluapex, Ivan Alexander, Allen, Michele Wong, Johnnyonnyful, Tommy Tran, Rick Wong, Dean Skoglund, Laurel Przybylski, Levi Cai, Beckie, Jane Orbuch, Nathan Wright, Nathan Padilla, Jason Buberel, Sean Tucker, Carl, Mark Joshua Bernardo, Titania Juang, Daniel Voisine, Michael Mieczkowski, Kyle Fisher, Kirtan Patel, Jeanine Womble, JanetFromAnotherPlanet, Kallie Moore, SueEllen McCann, Jeanne Sommer, Edwin Rivas, Geidi Rodriguez, Benjamin Ip, Willy Nursalim, Katherine Schick, Aurora Mitchell, Two Box Fish, Daisy Trevino , Ricardo Martinez, Marjorie D Miller, Ben Espey, Cory, Eric Carter, PM Daeley, Ahegao Comics, Iver Soto, Chris Murphy, Joao Ascensao, Nicolette Ray, Yvan Mostaza, TierZoo, Gerzon ---+ Follow KQED Science and Deep Look: Patreon: Instagram: Twitter: KQED Science on Facebook Watch: ---+ About KQED KQED, an NPR and PBS affiliate in San Francisco, CA, serves Northern California and beyond with a public-supported alternative to commercial TV, Radio and web media. Funding for Deep Look is provided in part by PBS Digital Studios. Deep Look is a project of KQED Science, which is also supported by the National Science Foundation, the Templeton Religion Trust, the Templeton World Charity Foundation, the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation, the Vadasz Family Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Fuhs Family Foundation and the members of KQED. #wormlion #insect #deeplook


New Message : _Boba Fett has left the chat_

Yotam Shitrit : Me: Wait a lion that's scary Wormlion: No don't worry I'm not a lion Me: Oh so you're just a worm that's not so ba- Wormlion: I'm not a worm either Me: Ok I'm scared again

Matti : its kinda cute tbh voice over: " its actually a fly " KILL IT WITH FIRE

Ryvucz : Oh how cute, the little nightmare can fly at its life's end.

FBI : Can we just acknowledge how great these camera shots and editing is? The only channel I know to take the time out to do this

Zuzu : Thank goodness it's not giant or it'd be like the Sarlacc Pit from Star Wars

GoogIe : Also known as, the *Y E E T* lion.

Demetria Dark : Wormlion: *Exists Human foot: I’m about to end this man’s *HOLE* career.

ACarlo7 : I knew about Antlion but never heard about this lion. Anymore ant-eater-lion-type.

ꉣꏹꉣꉣꏹꋪꁏꋊꀤ : 1:00 worm be like *what did you just say?*

Master Adit : Oh a small worm! That's so cute- _sees the full video_ Nevermind...

Fritz Gallo : "So it's like an antlion, but a worm... What do we name it?" "Wormlion."

Neki Tamo Cika : Animal: exists Animal: still exists Poachers: im gonna stop you right there

Siddhant Kamble : 2:54 when I finish my terra pack of juice.

General Grevious : I always watch Deep Look videos as soon as a new one is available. It fuels my childlike curiosity.

Blueberry Sansygirl28 : I love Deep Look it has so many educational facts and interesting creatures to learn more about.

ΛRMYOИCEBLIИK : when its entire name tricks you worm: nope lion: nope *ITS A FLY LARVAE!*

阿瑠 : Wormlion: "can i copy your homework?" Antlion: "sure, just don't make it to obvious" Wormlion: "gocha fam"

Tripcore : I like how there's no lion sounds like there would be in bug wars

FoxHound : Angel: We need a new insect! God: Just mix something up that we already made

Yuuchan : Looks like my regular friday night.

Nick Morgan : I always wondered what trapinch did before it evolved to Flygon

Ocean Masquerade : I just got a big urge to watch Tremors again? Anyone else??

Septim : Why are they called Wormlions? Because they LIE ON the sand 😂😂😅.. No I'm not gonna leave.

Sooodarncrazy : Me: oh look he's just punching the ant I bet it can escape Deep look: 'strikes injecting venom into its prey' Me: hol up

fydy dfhdhd : *sees a worm people that didnt watch this video : me: *kILl iT wItH fIrE*

Nataly RAW : 1:01 what did you just call me?

Fwee_Tube :3 : They should’ve called it the Flicking Worm lol

Captain Srovy : Nice background music and sound effects! 😁 Keep up the good work, Deep Look!👍

graphite : I've heard of antlions but I've never heard of wormlions! Thanks Deeplook :D

Leo Thomas : Do something on a winged termite's life cycle

David Krause : The spice must flow! <3

Smug Anime Girl : Moms: "Don't play with your food" Kids:

Dio Brando : A friendly reminder from deep look that everything that nature is one big hunger games

pyro2002 : make an episode over carnivorous plants that would be amazing

Mike Trevors : Ant lions are still way more ferocious looking!

john vans : Antlion and lion worm really like having ants over for dinner

lvl 4999 soldier : This guy literally yeets everything away

Clarence Tan : Notification squad where art thou?

Kreative Chaos Guides : first antlions now wormlions gordan freeman will have alot on his hands on the third iteration

snazzlebaz125 : I was only aware of antlions, these wormlions are significantly more creepy.

Bryan Kelly : Frank Herbert's Dune .. Micro Sized .. lol

Captain Rex : either i can see the future or this vid has been reuploaded,i swear i saw it already 2 weeks ago

mymiiisbetter : 2:17 boss battle begins. 2:29 GAME OVER

American Nobody : "sure, it's a tiny wriggly thing.." as it stops and looks at the camera like "what did you just say about me?" 1:00

Void Manipulater : I see a pattern all worm set up a trap just like my mom when she says dinner is ready


suicune690 : So it knows Dig, Bind, Poison Fang and Rock Throw. Pretty impressive for a Bug-type.

Aroop Roelofs : so it's basically a slightly less scary antlion... ... I can live with that.