Diversity of Living Things:

Kangaroo vs. Praying Mantis by Ryan Arnott

Vertebrate or Invertebrate?

Kangaroos are vertebrates where as Mantis are invertebrates. This means that the kangaroo has a spine and the Mantis has an exoskeleton.

Diet

Kangaroos have chambered stomachs similar to those of cattle and sheep. They regurgitate the vegetation they have eaten, chew it as cud, and then swallow it again for final digestion. Different species of kangaroos have different diets, although all are strict herbivores. The eastern grey kangaroo is predominantly a grazer, eating a wide variety of grasses, whereas some other species (e.g. the red kangaroo) include significant amounts of shrubs in their diets.

Mantis are generalist predators of arthropods (spiders, insects, crustacean but some species of Mantis will eat frogs and lizards.. They are ambush predators.

Habitat

Kangaroos live in varied habitats, from forests and woodland areas to grassy plains and savannas. in Australia.

Mantis live in tropical climates. They do not nest, they wonder in trees and on the ground.

Reproduction

In the Kangaroo, during reproduction, the egg is fertilized and quickly develops into a neonate. Even in the largest kangaroo (the red kangaroo) the neonate emerges after only 33 days. Usually, only one young is born at a time. It is blind, hairless, and only a few centimeters long; its hind legs are mere stumps; it instead uses its more developed forelegs to climb its way through the thick fur on its mother's abdomen into the pouch, which takes about three to five minutes. Once in the pouch, it fastens onto one of the four teats and starts to feed.

After 190 days, the baby Kangaroo is sufficiently large and independent to make its first foray out of the pouch. From then on it spends increasing time in the outside world and eventually, after 235 days, it leaves the pouch for the last time.


Female Mantis practice sexual cannibalism. In the wild, the mating and reproduction of mantises begins with courtship wherein the male dances in front of the female. If the female’s eggs become fertile, she would lay her eggs during the fall season and place them in a leaf or a twig and she would cover it with a protective sheath which resembles Styrofoam. Mantis lays eggs typically in fall and hatch in the spring. Females will lay between 10-400 eggs depending on the species.

Adaptations that Help Kangaroos and Mantis' Survive in Their Habitat

Kangaroos have large, powerful hind legs, large feet adapted for leaping, a long muscular tail for balance, and a small head. Like mostmarsupials, female kangaroos have a pouch called a marsupium in which joeys complete postnatal development.

The female kangaroo spends most of her adult life pregnant, but in drought times, she has the ability to indefinitely "freeze" the development of the young embryo until food sources are replenished.

The Mantis has a triangle head that can rotate 180 degrees, with bulging eyes because the Mantis rely heavily on vision for hunting. The Mantis has an elongated body, with long, strong legs that are greatly adapted to catching and grabbing prey.
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