Shocking Truth Revealed
I grew up being taught that the praying mantis is a beneficial insect because it eats grasshoppers and other plant-eating pests. Little did I know that mantids actually will eat anything they can catch and subdue. I mean a praying mantis is a messy eater anyway, but to witness one chowing down on a warm-blooded creature is somewhat disconcerting.
For me, this learning experience started a couple of days ago. I happened to make a comment to one of my college-age daughters about the mantid’s enthusiastic eating technique and she pulled out her laptop and said, “Let’s watch!” She did a search and one of the images showed a photo of a praying mantis, dangling upside down from a hummingbird feeder with a dead humming bird in it’s clutches.
Of course, you know what came next…that’s right…YouTube!
Further searching showed that it’s not just humming birds either (the things routinely stake out feeders to ambush them) but also snakes, lizards, even mice…basically, if they can catch it they’ll eat it.
So if you ever see a praying mantis that, through some freaky malfunction of nature, happens to be nearly human size, take my advice—run for your life!
I should mention that in the course of gathering material for this article, I also found a very disturbing video of a pelican at a zoo or park or something eating a pigeon—but that’s another story.
- Praying Mantis As A Beneficial Biological Control (glenns-garden.com)
- All About the Praying Mantis (brighthub.com)
- Small Brown Praying Mantis (teabreak.pk)
- Books And Mantids (blogs.forbes.com)
- Morning.Pre-sun. (slaughterhousestudios.blogspot.com)
- How-To: Make a Bug Habitat and Stick Insect (craftzine.com)
- pilgrimage with a mantis. (katilifox.wordpress.com)
- Praying mantises up close: wildlife enthusiast Jimmy Hoffman photographs the unusual insects (telegraph.co.uk)
~ by Bill Housley on February 23, 2010.
Posted in Spaceship Earth, Weird Science
Tags: Animalia, Arthropoda, Beneficial insects, biology, Bird, eating, Flora and Fauna, hummingbirds, Insecta, Mantis, Mantodea, Praying Mantis, Science, weird