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Animal Themes
Insects
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Mantids



Mantids
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.01

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    ootheca, fully-formed, merciless, mantis, predatory, deceitful, mantid, beetle, outer, relentless, natural, therefore, powerful, mantids, strike, instance
     content words:    Southeast Asia, In Greek


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Mantids   

1     Have you ever seen mantids on a hunt? At first glance, they seemed to be very inactive. Then, with lightning speed, mantids strike and take a hold of a beetle with their two front legs that look more like two blades! Mantids rarely miss their target. Aside from their unusually long and powerful front legs, mantids have two other advantages that make them superb predators!
 
2     Mantids are the only insects that can turn their heads more than 180 degrees. This ability allows them to scan for prey from one side to the other. To the horror of their victims, mantids' attacks always appear to come out of nowhere. Thanks to their camouflage, mantids are often mistaken for twigs, leaves, or even flowers! Mantids are great at disguising themselves. For instance, two identical flower mantids of Southeast Asia grow up on two different plants. The one living on a plant with white flowers becomes white when it is fully-grown. The one living on a plant with pink flowers becomes pink in its adult stage.
 
3     Mantids are common insects in tropical and temperate regions. There are about 2,000 different species. Mantids are merciless hunters! They eat almost every living animal that comes near them, including other mantids! Mantids usually attack smaller insects (such as grasshoppers, flies, mosquitoes, and moths). But larger and more daring mantids also prey upon frogs, lizards, and hummingbirds.

Paragraphs 4 to 5:
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