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The soothsayer or prophet

April 5, 2018

The word mantis comes from the Greek mantikos, for soothsayer or prophet. Indeed, these insects do seem spiritual, especially when their forelegs are clasped together as if they're in prayer.

Mantis cleaning his tools


Mantids are unique among insects in their ability to turn their heads a full 180 degrees.

No other insect can do so. Praying mantids have a flexible joint between the head and prothorax that enables them to swivel their heads. 
Mantids have two eyes, but only one ear. A praying mantis has two large, compound eyes that work together to help it decipher visual cues. But strangely, the praying mantis has just a single ear, located on the underside of its belly, just forward of its hind legs. This means the mantid cannot discriminate the direction of a sound, nor its frequency

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