The praying mantis is an extremely fascinating creature. The image above is a mantis I found stalking around one of my rose bushes a few summers ago. Everytime I see a mantis, they seem just as fascinated of me as I am of them. I can always get close enough for us both to just look each other in the eyes for a good while.
The mantis is a predatory insect that feeds on other insects. Some larger species (not around here) have been known to feed on small birds, lizards and rodents.