Critter Science

The Science of Critters

Peacock Mantis Shrimp

Odontodactylus scyllarus, known as the peacock mantis shrimp is a large mantis shrimp native to the Indo-Pacific from Guam to East Africa. O. scyllarus is one of the larger, more colourful mantis shrimps commonly seen, ranging in size from 3 to 18 cm (1.2 to 7.1 in). They are primarily green in colour, with orange legs and leopard-like spots on the anterior carapace.

mantis shrimp

Mantis Vision!

Their ability to see circularly polarized light has led to studies to determine if the mechanisms by which their eyes operate can be replicated for use in reading CDs and similar optical information-storage devices.

Home Sweet Home

The peacock mantis shrimp is a burrower, constructing U-shaped holes in the loose substrate near the bases of coral reefs in water ranging from 3 to 40 meters (9.8 to 131.2 ft) deep.

mantis shrimp

MANTIS SMASH!

Did you known, the mantis shrimp is a smasher, with club-shaped raptorial appendages? An active hunter, it prefers gastropods, crustaceans, and bivalves, and will repeatedly smash its prey until it can gain access to the soft tissue for consumption. It is reported to have a “punch” of over 50 miles per hour (80 km/h). This is the fastest recorded punch of any living animal. The acceleration is similar to that in a .22 caliber handgun, with 340 pounds-force (1,500 N) per strike. In addition, the surface of its appendages is made up of extremely dense hydroxyapatite, layered in a manner which is highly resistant to fracturing. Glass aquaria can be broken by them. The composition is being investigated for potential synthesis and engineering use.

Final Details

Its lineage can be traced back five hundred million years. It is multicolored with shades of bright green, orange, red and blue on its shell and forearms covered in spots. There are 400 species of mantis shrimp worldwide.

Critter Man

With over 41 years of critter experience to my credit and hundreds of zoology teaching hours to people around the world, I have amassed not only a continuing thirst for critter knowledge but a desire to teach others all I can about the majesty and wonder of our natural world. Critter Science is a culmination of such knowledge. I have hands on as well as book acquired intel on all animals. Whether they be land, sea, or air. Let be said that I have been oft times accused of loving animals more than I love people. I can neither confirm nor deny this.

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