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In this episode, we explore the Race of Life on a small scale but no less competitive or cruel for all that. Insects burrow through the ground, hop and sing in the trees, and dart and dance in the air. They come in many different colors and shapes. There are many reasons why insects are so successful at surviving—their ability to survive in all kinds of temperatures and environments. A strong, hard but flexible shell called an exoskeleton covers their soft organs and is resistant to chemicals, water, and physical impact. Their wings give them the option of flying away from dangerous situations or toward food or mates. In this episode: Dragonflies hover like helicopters over ponds and lakes, then suddenly dart away, pursuing prey or other dragonflies. The monarch butterfly goes through a miraculous metamorphosis, changing from an egg to a hungry caterpillar to a quiet pupa and emerging as a beautiful winged adult. The praying mantis is a master of disguise. Its green body, wings, and legs merge into the green, leafy background so carefully it seems to be part of the grass. Perched at an angle, with its spiny forelegs raised in a prayer-like pose, the mantis sits in still rigidness - until another insect such as a fly comes too near and is suddenly captured and devoured. Ants, like bees, hornets, and wasps, are social insects and live together in colonies in many-chambered nests. Whatever it takes, to stay in the race.
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