Sometimes the fiercest of battles happen right under our noses. The world well beneath our feet or otherwise out of sight is filled with its own dramas, and in the teeny-tiny insect world battles between bugs contain some deft moves.
Need proof? Check out this video from the grounds of the University of Florida.
Entomologist Christine Miller, a keen observer of insect fighting prowess, explains that insect fights -- usually between males fighting over a female bug -- can display moves seemingly right out of mixed martial arts.
Lunges, jumps, short squeezes, leg wraps, the pounce-and-wrap -- the bugs employ any strategy that will help them win the day, and a mate.
RELATED: Top 10 Real-Life Ant Powers
Miller watches bug battles for insight into mate selection and animal weaponry and how each may inform animal behavior and evolution.
"They're a really powerful way to better understand science," she says.
While people usually think about weapons as a means to kill, says Miller, "animal weapons are used to get an animal away, to succeed in getting a territory, maybe to get access to females for potential mating. They rarely fight to the death."
Does the biggest bug always win the lady? No, says Miller. Sometimes a factor such as odor -- from the fella and/or its food supply -- can win her hand. In that case, it's all about olfactory cues.
Even when they lose a fight, insects have tactics at the ready that allow them to live to fight another day, Miller notes. Trapped in a foe's grip? Just let go! Sometimes the loser will literally shake loose a limb to get free -- self-amputating a leg, for example -- in a process called autotomy.
In the end, though, says Miller, it's all about looking ahead.
"A lot of people don't think about insect conservation. But if we lose species of insects we could have ecosystems fall apart to some extent and be adversely affected."
WATCH VIDEO: 5 Incredible Insect Superpowers