Monday, July 23, 2012

Mantis Shrimps Are Huge

Have I mentioned how much I love 22 Words? Today they featured a video of a mantis shrimp (below). Their movements are so explosive they are equivalent to a small calibre bullet. They're also huge.

...and pretty!

...and mantis-y

Wiki says they can grow up to 38 cm (that's almost 15 inches) long! Mantis shrimp are also very fast and there are several videos that showcase their size and speed.

[update: Mantis shrimps have the most powerful punch in nature as well as being second fastest. Below is an excerpt from an article on the Mantis shrimp

each of the smasher’s strikes produced small flashes of light upon impact. They are emitted because the club moves so quickly that it lowers the pressure of the water in front of it, causing it to boil.
This releases small bubbles which collapse when the water pressure normalises, unleashing tremendous amounts of energy. This process, called cavitation, is so destructive that it can pit the stainless steel of boat propellers. Combined with the force of the strike itself, no animal in the seas stands a chance.
Large smashers can even make meals of crabs, buckling their thick armour as easily as they do aquarium glass [yes! they smash through glass]. And they are often seen beating up much larger fish and octopuses, which are unfortunate enough to wander past their burrows. 

Do you know what I think when I see a shrimp this big?

Oh yes, a huge shrimp cocktail

I'm sorry to say that all links to videos of this shrimp moving with incredible speed are unavailable.

[April 10/13: The Oatmeal just did a comic about the mantis Shrimp where he explains the science behind their right hook in ways that are easy to comprehend and with the usual humour. Check it out here]

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