Home > Misc > Mantis Shrimp Kicks Ass, Breaks Glass

Mantis Shrimp Kicks Ass, Breaks Glass

January 15, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I saw a documentary, Disney’s Oceans last summer.  I was heavily intoxicated, so naturally, it was incredible.  I saw it again a second time, and was just as astounded.  One of the most memorable parts of the film was a fight between a crab and a mantis shrimp.  Suffice it to say, one them gets his ass KICKED.

Last week I saw a mantis shrimp at the LFS.  It sells for $100 and must be housed in a species only tank.  I knew I didn’t want one, but I researched them later, and found them quite interesting.

Apparently their sense of sight is highly developed, so much that they are able to distinguish individuals of their species.  Not bad considering it’s a gigantic sea insect.


It also has the fastest strike of an animal in the world.  It has a bludgeoning appendage that is used to smash open snail shells.  This appendage moves so fast it creates a weird fluid dynamic phenomenon, where a bubbles and a flash of light appear at the point of impact, and the shockwave lands a second equally powerful blow to the hapless mollusk.  The appendage takes awhile to to ‘reload’, like a sling in a catapult, and the impact is so powerful, the limb actually damages itself.  Luckily, this arthropod can regenerate and repair as it molts.

You can see the TED talk here:

These animals have also been known to strike and break aquarium glass.  I think I’ll leave this one in the ocean.

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