The Mantis Shrimp is a truly amazing crustacean. This rare animal has inhabited the planet for around 400 million years, so it’s one of the oldest in the world.
These animals are so unusual that scientist Mike Land has nicknamed them “Mars Shrimp“. Others relate their name to the Praying Mantis, but they are completely different animals, something that can be seen in the colours.
This rare crustacean is also commonly known by the names of Boxer Lobster, Shearing, Sea Lobster, Shrimp Killer, Thumb Cracker and a variety of other names.
But what very few people know is that its scientific name is Odontodactylus sycllarus.
Physical characteristics of the Mantis Shrimp
There are many extraordinary details that characterize it and make it a unique animal on the planet.
The colours of its body are excessively striking and vary between red, blue and green.
The mantis shrimp is thin and measures about 12 centimeters, although some specimens captured measure a little more, about 18 centimeters.
But do not be confused by their small size, the Mantis shrimp are very powerful animals.
These rare animals are creatures that are isolated most of the time and are not easily intimidated by any animal.
They are capable of capturing species much larger than themselves and with a powerful force they can even break into aquariums. How do they do it?
Because they have very powerful tweezers that have mineral layers that make them resistant.
Mantis shrimps are considered to be very aggressive crustaceans. With a single blow they can instantly shatter very hard shells.
It also has very strong bones which it pushes through its claws to kill in a thousandth of a second.
It also has the ability not to hurt itself when it executes these brutal blows against its prey.
You’re certainly surprised by the strength of this animal, but there’s more to it than that. Now let’s talk about its amazing eyes.
The Mantis Shrimp’s eye is more specialized than any other species we can find.
It has the ability to look back and forth at the same time. It’s so impressive that each eye is like three eyes in one.
Its powerful eyes can perceive ultraviolet light and have the ability to distinguish colors that are divided.
The strength he has, along with his incredible eyes makes him a highly skilled predator.
In spite of its dangerousness, it is an animal worthy of being admired and respected by human beings. In fact, it’s considered one of the most beautiful marine species.
Where does this rare crustacean live?
The mantis shrimp inhabits rock crevices found in the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean and the tropical waters of the Caribbean Sea.
There are large concentrations of specimens off the coast of Hawaii, East Africa and especially the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Feeding the Mantis Shrimp
Its food sources are very varied. It can eat crustaceans, crabs, molluscs, fish and even other mantis shrimp.
It’s a predator that has the ability to hunt different prey, even if they’re much bigger than it.
For its food there is one element of vital importance – its eyes.
When the Mantis shrimp sees possible prey, its eyes gather as much information as possible and transfer it to its brain to identify: when to attack, what to attack, how and how far away its target is.
So it’s very unlikely that it will miss any prey.
Mantis Shrimp reproduction
The species known as mantis shrimp is monogamous, that is, it is characterized by having only one partner and remains with them for at least 20 years.
In order for a specimen to choose its partner, colors and vision come into play. The males send a signal composed of polarized lights and the female will stay with the one that is capable of dazzling her.
To indicate that she wants to mate, she sends a signal with similar lights. However, these lights can only be perceived by animals of this species.
What are its Predators and Threats?
As with other rare animals, the main enemy of the mantis shrimp is man.
In Japan, it is considered a delicacy, which although it does not contain much meat, does not contain any fat either. However, because they live very much in hiding in their burrows, they are very difficult to catch.