If, like me, you permanently have the spirit of a six year old boy who is eager to gape and poke at interesting bugs, you’ll love this documentary. You’ll probably like it even if you have a slightly more normal disposition. Praying mantises are fascinating on a number of levels. The sheer biological diversity that has evolved amongst different species in the form of amazing camouflage and deadly weapons makes this an extremely interesting film. With scenes of cannibalistic mating and successful predation on reptiles and small mammals by these deadly insects, this is really the insect version of a show you might see presented during Shark Week.
Because of the sometimes macabre habits of these creatures, they have acquired a number of false myths and unflattering superstitions and this documentary seeks to dispel those where appropriate; tearing away the negative associations while letting the truly interesting, if sometimes strange, facets of these skilled predators intact. You’ll learn about their place in the biological world and the way they’ve been viewed throughout human history. While this documentary does little to place the praying mantis in a larger ecological picture, it does present the large number of species in an interesting and comprehensive manner.
Credit: Image taken by Steve Wall
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