Do Aliens Exist?
That’s one of the big questions. Well, you CrtrRoons know I meet them all the time, on land & underwater. They live among us each & every day. There is one that, I believe, has inspired the common alien-face you see in science fiction movies, books, etc. Aliens invaded our home last year. Instead of running around screaming scared, we yelled our heads off with excitement & ran around all giddy. If a fly on the wall could speak, we must’ve looked like characters off of Looney Tunes! Scott broke out his camera & gear, while I ran out to greet each & every one of them. A couple of them didn’t hesitate to meet me face to face. I didn’t have to hold up a sign, “Take Me With You” was written all over my face. Aliens DO exist! Introducing the Praying Mantis (order Mantodea).
Bite Size Factoids – The Praying Mantis
The aliens, Praying Mantises (order Mantodea), have landed on earth, or more specifically, in our backyard & inside our home. Species specifications are difficult for me since there are so many with similar features, but if YOU happen to know the species of one or more of the Crtrs showcased in this blog & video, please let me know. The first one that comments with a positive ID of one of them will receive a signed 8×12 Mantis print of your choice & given credit via my social media accounts! If you ID more than one, well then it’s only fair you get 2 Mantis prints. Now let’s get our alien, er…Crtr on & bite off some Crtr facts!
What’s In A Name & Features:
Believe it or not, these beauties are related to cockroaches & termites! The Praying Mantis gets its name from the way they position their front raptorial legs as if they were praying. These legs are adorned with large spikes to keep a good grip on their prey. As seen in these photos & video, the mantis’ head & facial features resemble that of the alien face we most commonly use in films & books.
Depending on the species, Mantises can be styled with different wing lengths, functioning or non-functioning wings or simply wingless. These ambush Crtrs camouflage with their environment ready to snatch up their potentially, delicious victim by extending their spiky, front raptorial legs. They also blend with their surroundings to protect themselves from potential predators, especially since these Crtrs are diurnal (hang out during the day).
Mantises have very good eye sight and use it when hunting for their meal. You can even spot a pseudopupil in their compound eyes that looks like it’s following you when it rotates its head. When they feel threatened & camouflaging fails them, the Praying Mantis will try to appear bigger by spreading their wings & those front, leggy weapons wide open as if hitting a high note in an opera performance. Their diet consists of mostly other arthropods, but for larger mantises it can include small vertebrates.
One of the ways to differentiate a male from female is by their segmented abdomen. Males have 8 segments while females sport 6. It is true that a female mantis may chomp on her mate’s head & part of his body, while still gettin’ jiggy with it. Yikes! It gives a whole new meaning to “dessert time“.
Human & Crtr
Don’t let the Praying Mantis’ delicate features fool you. Yes, always be gentle when handling them, but they are a curious, brave & alert alien, er, Crtr. The pattern I’ve experienced during our encounters with them is somewhat predictable. After the initial shock of meeting a giant humanoid, like me, realizing that I’m not going to hurt them, they always choose to climb on me & check out what I’m all about. I’m jealous of their elegant & intimidating beauty! I may not be able to join them & their ventures, but I’m grateful for the reward of having time spent with them, even if just for a moment.
Check out more of Scott McGee’s (Under Pressure Photography) photos including some that weren’t used in the video. (Click on the tiny arrow, bottom right to enlarge photos):
Click on my YouTube video for my usual wacky version of Bite Size Factoids, “Aliens Landed On Earth”. Please give it a thumbs up, comment, subscribe & share with other Crtr peeps! Big Crtr hugs & always…Get Your Crtr On!