21 August 2009
17 August 2009
Praying mantises are closely related to termites and cockroaches. The word mantis comes from the Greek word mantis meaning prophet or fortune teller. There is a well known myth that the female mantis will eat the male after reproduction. Studies have shown this is not necessarily natural behavior, but the result of being studied in un-natural laboratory conditions. Mantises are masters of camouflage, both to avoid being eaten themselves, and to ambush their prey. The natural lifespan of a mantis in the wild is about 10-12 months. The mantis can lash out at remarkable speed, prey are caught and held securely with grasping, spiked forelegs. Their diet usually consists of living insects, including flies and aphids. Larger mantises have been known to eat small lizards, frogs, birds, snakes, and even rodents.
Mantids are found only on land in rainforests, dry forests, undisturbed and second-growth forests. Many gardeners consider mantises to be desirable insects, as they prey upon many harmful insect species. Organic gardeners who avoid pesticides may encourage mantises as a form of biological pest control. When directly threatened, many mantis species stand tall and spread their forelegs, with their wings fanning out wide. The fanning of the wings evidently makes the mantis seem larger and more threatening. Sexual cannibalism is common among mantises in captivity, and under some circumstances may also be observed in the field. The female may start feeding by biting off the male’s head (as with any prey), and if mating had begun, the male’s movements may become even more vigorous in its delivery of sperms.
Mantids in general are very harmless critters. They, in general, don't attack human beings, instead focusing their attacks on prey items. As a matter of fact you can usually handle a wild praying mantis without any concern for a bite. The Mantis is sitting on the hair of my mother-in-law and my little nephew Boss is watching her and that odd creature ;-)
15 August 2009
The Searcher writes:
"Am I fixed, Father?" he asked. The Professor replied, "I'm nearly done. Hold still, son." He adjusted the skin tone a bit darker, and tweaked the smile towards the gentle spectrum. "Why do you always have to tinker, Father," the boy asked. The Professor chuckled, but thought about it for a moment. "I'm not really sure, son. I suppose I just want you to be perfect."
"How can I be perfect, Father? You'll always be better than I am." With this the Professor frowned, and very nearly growled. He opened the emotional drawer and adjusted the sincerity a touch lower. "Let me tell you a little secret, son. You are meant to be in every way I can imagine, better than I. Why else would I make you?" The boy thought for a moment, confused. "How can that be? You're my maker. I can't be better than my maker."
The Professor pinched the thinking slider up a smidge. "Of course you can. The purpose of creation is to strive beyond the here and now, to improve upon what came before. To do any less would be to purposely create a design flaw, and that would go against my tinkering nature. You may not understand this now, but I hope you will someday."
The boy smiled a gentle smile. "Am I fixed, Father?"