Friday, May 29, 2009

Mantis Shrimp

[Originally posted to the Moorea Coral Reef LTER (MCR LTER) Marine Life Encyclopedia]

Mantis Shrimp
(Order Stomatopoda)

Mantis Shrimp - Order Stomatopoda
Photo by Gerick Bergsma

Mantis shrimp are ferocious predators, and are generally grouped as either smashers, which slam their prey with their club-like raptorial claws, or spearers, which stab their prey using their sharply barbed raptorial claws.  Smashers can shatter crab and snail shells with a force likened to that of a bullet, while spearers catch soft-bodied but fast-moving prey, such as fish, by quickly spearing them.

Mantis shrimp are found worldwide, but are most abundant in tropical and subtropical seas.

Reef flats, sand flats, lagoons and shallow bays.  Many live among rubble or in intricate sand burrows.

Varies by species, but may include fish, snails, bivalves, crustaceans and worms.

Quick Fact
Mantis shrimp have some of the most complex eyes known.  Each eye is mounted on a movable stalk and has three parts, which provides precise depth perception independent of the other eye.  Additionally, they can see more colors than most animals, from the infrared to the ultraviolet, and can even detect the polarization of light.

Learn More
- Wikipedia

- Moorea Biocode Database

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