We like to categorize things in simple terms. If something is beautiful or cute we tend to think of it as friendly, happy or, at the very least, benign. If something is ugly or not appealing to look at we tend to associate it with being unpleasant, harsh, or even aggressive.
But few things look and act that simply.
Dragonflies are bright agile fliers. Their beautiful coloring and exotic looks inspire poetry and are seen as symbols of courage, strength, and happiness by many. But dragonflies are also ancient voracious predators. Catching up to 95% of the prey they pursue, they devour everything from butterflies to mosquitoes. Even in the larvae stage they can eat tadpoles, small fish and other larvae.
Another misleading predator is the long-eared hedgehog.
It looks cute and innocent. Youtube is filled with fun videos of hedgehogs being cute and cuddly, as they sneeze, yawn and roll into a ball. And, of course, if something looks cute we like to make it a pet.
But in their natural habitat, long-eared hedgehogs are prickly, but voracious predators. They have a role to play that is deadly effective and they aren’t exactly cute and cuddly in the process. Not when you can kill and eat vipers.
Sorry, but I wouldn’t call this a vicious attack. The hedgehog has to eat too!