When talking about the surface, not many people will think they are beautiful and unique. However, this surface species must make the ocean “tilt in respect” about its ability to “fight” despite its small appearance less than 10cm.
Mantis shrimp – “Ocean killer”
Dubbed the “ocean killer”, the tiny mantis shrimp named Peacock Mantis Shrimp possesses a “weapon” capable of smashing prey at lightning speed with a force greater than 1000 times its own weight.
Called mantis shrimp, but this Peacock Mantis Shrimp is not a shrimp, nor is it related to the mantis. It’s just that their appearance each half resembles a shrimp and a mantis, so it’s called that. In fact, they are arthropods, distantly related to shrimp and lobster.
Mantis shrimps are brightly colored with orange “arms” that help them launch the fastest accurate punches, tearing their prey.
Mantis shrimp is also known as hammer shrimp, peacock tail mantis shrimp, peacock feather mantis shrimp. Despite being small predatory marine crustaceans, they are extremely aggressive, able to tear their prey apart in a matter of seconds. This species of mantis shrimp is found in the tropical waters of the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans.
The mantis shrimp’s weapon that he always carries with him is a strong, sturdy claw that grabs prey as fast as lightning. They have 8 pairs of legs, of which the front 5 pairs have stiff, pointed pins, the rest are swimming legs. Thanks to this, they can confidently smash their prey in a short time.
Mantis shrimp crushed clam shells
Clam shells are so hard, mantis shrimps don’t even hesitate to break rocks, then sea crabs and mantis shrimps are also confident that they won’t slip. Thinking about not having a hard shell like crabs and snails, mollusks, small fish will also be smashed by them with the speed of light. Therefore, in addition to being called “ocean killer”, mantis shrimp is also called “smasher”.
Mantis shrimp tore off crab claws
Mantis shrimp tore human leg
“Smasher” has a colorful appearance
Possessing a colorful outfit from green, reddish brown to pink, light yellow adds to the majesty of a predator in the deep sea. Hung and tiger beat their prey like that, but it’s a bit sad for this “ocean killer” to be… “color blind”. However, the sharp eyes of this mantis shrimp have a special structure, quite complex.
Their eyes have photoreceptors containing up to 16 photoreceptors, allowing them to distinguish coral reefs, even transparent ones. In particular, this mantis shrimp can see polarized light, which is rare for other animals to see. The visual system is both extraordinary and strange, it is an exaggeration to say that they are colorblind, they can distinguish many colors, but colors that are close together, such as yellow and greenish yellow, they do not.
Live secretly, alone and don’t like “adultery”
It is unknown how this dangerous predator plans to live, but they live very mysterious and somewhat solitary lives. The peacock mantis shrimp spends most of its life in its burrow. Moreover, they also do not like “adultery” as many of them can mate with mates and stay together for life. That life span can last no more than 5 years.
Speaking of how they survive, the mantis shrimp can be seen as a ruthless hunting machine. They like to wriggle and make surprise attacks. In particular, they are extremely determined and stubborn when hunting, when the attack fails, they will chase until they catch their prey.
This is a short documentary by Nat Geo that captures the marine life of mantis shrimp
Mantis shrimps like to eat mollusks and small crustaceans. There is more than one reason why mantis shrimp become a professional predator in the ocean. It must be caught and then treasured, if it is an unfamiliar dish, they still drag it into the cave, then throw it out disdainfully. Seemingly influenced by a reclusive, non-discriminatory lifestyle, they also like to eat scallops, clams, snails, etc. species that are lazy and do not move much.
Mantis shrimp usually change their claws a few times a month, but that doesn’t affect their ability to strike tens of thousands of times in that time period. Scientists have discovered a terrible secret related to the strength of this mantis shrimp.
The surface of their claws is made of hydroxyapatite minerals that make them hard and lined up in pillars perpendicular to the surface of the nail. What gives these pillars their repulsive power is chitosan, a carbohydrate molecule that forms a long chain of crustacean shells. They are stacked at an angle in many directions, which helps them avoid cracks when changing swipe direction.
Thanks to that great ability, the researchers plan to design hammers that mimic the claw mechanism of mantis shrimp for application in aerospace engineering, automobiles, etc. With so many features, they have conquered many hearts of marine lovers, even if they are… colorblind.