Discovery Channel - Alien Insect: Praying Mantis

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The film enters the world of a real-life alien: the praying mantis. This macro documentary shows the life cycle and behavior of the most formidable and rarest representatives of the mantis family, including several that have never been filmed before.

World-wide, there exist some 2,200 species of this bizarre insect family, most of them in the subtropical and tropical zones, a few in the temperate zones of the Old an the New World.

Wherever they live and whatever their size, they share one gruesome feature: Every mantis is a perfect killing machine, a living steel trap. Anything but prayerful, mantises prey on everything that moves and can be overwhelmed.

Praying mantis get their name from the appearance of their front legs, which they hold in a prayerlike manner.

There are many species of mantises worldwide. One species in Sri Lanka may reach 10 inches in length, and like other large species from South America, these large mantises may prey on insects, small birds and reptiles.

Though mantises have wings, they do not migrate. They fly more at night, which makes them more susceptible to predation by bats. Females lay their egg cases in the autumn, and one generation of mantises develops each season