Entomologists: Praying mantises and the TARDIS

I am looking after my friend’s praying mantis. It has only just shed its skin for the first time, and so is still very small and thin (head to abdomen ~3cm).

He left some crickets to feed it. They are just shy of it in length (~2.5cm) but easily its girth. They are essentially the same size as the mantis, if not bigger.

It ate the whole thing in half an hour.

There were no crumbs, save a couple of legs. It ate the entire cricket.

Now, the abdomen was slightly distended. But that was all!. I did not see any “pooing” going on and as I said, there was practically no leftovers.

So, where had the mantis put the thing which was the same size as itself? Does it have some ultra-strong compressor for a digestive system?


I’ve seen this…the softer parts of the food/cricket do get squeezed a bit, and it’s possible some parts start disolving due to digestion rather quickly.

My nephew starting keeping a praying mantis as a pet, and I thought that was odd, but maybe not as odd as I thought.

“I thought that was odd, but maybe not as odd as I thought.”

That’s going to keep me awake tonight…

Anyway, the OP. If you had two plasticine crickets of equal size and you merged them into one bigger plasticine cricket it would only be 1.26 times bigger (in all directions). That could effect the way that the relative lack of increased girth affects you psychologically. Also, I imagine (I don’t know) that a significant proportion of the cricket is air.

Why did you mention the Tardis? Did I get Wooshed or did your friend get his mantis from Dr. Who

The Tardis was the size of a phone booth from the outside, but had tons of room on the inside. (make that “tonnes”). Almost all of the doctor’s guests said something like, “Oh my. It’s bigger on the inside than the outside.”

So we therefore conclude that the stomach of a Praying Mantis can warp space-time. Or maybe crickets are very compressible.

The TARDIS(Time And Relative Dimensions In Space) is a device enabling travel in space and time. Among its many wondrous qualities is the fact that it’s much smaller outside than inside. The TARDIS’ sides are roughly 7 feet by 3 feet. The inside is roughly the size of Buckingham palace.

There is a fine speech on this in the classic episode Robots Of Death.

The OP was referring to the fact that the mantis’ seemed to be larger inside than outside.

BTW-There is a deep sea fish called the Black Swallower. It’s named for the fact that its mouth can distend to swallow prey larger than the fish itself. Its stomach can similarly expand.