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Mantis Shrimp Essay

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A fully labelled diagram illustrating the organism’s structure and identifying specialist adaptations.

Mantis shrimp have many adaptations to survive in their environment there are 2 different types of Raptorial Claws. The first is the hammer-like claw which the mantis shrimp uses to bash its prey, defence and for altering its home. This type of claw is like a spring loaded hammer. It releases its spring-loaded hammer-like claw into a snail or crab shell too fast to see and smashes the

Shell with a loud bang.

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The shrimp also uses its club to break rock it will do this as a way of extending its burrow or cave. The speed of the strike (up to 50 mph, or 23 m/s) creates cavitation bubbles between the shrimp’s hammer-like club and the struck object. The bubbles collapse, and generate heat, light, and sound. Though the mantis shrimp’s tough club is impregnated with hard minerals it will still shed it and regenerate it every few months.

The other is the spiker which it impales fish in a fraction of a second.

Mantis shrimp possess hyper spectral colour vision, allowing up to 12 colour channels extending in the ultraviolet. Their eyes (both mounted on mobile stalks and constantly moving about independently of each other) are similarly variably coloured, and are considered to be the most complex eyes in the animal kingdom

Some mantis shrimp will spend most of their lives in one burrow or cave whereas other mantis will walk and swim around the reef floor these ones though will still have a burrow to retreat to if there is danger.

Some species of mantis shrimp will remain with the same partner for more than 20 years. This behaviour is a special adaptation so that the mantis shrimp does not need to find a new partner every time it needs to breed.

They are neither shrimp nor mantids, but receive their name because of the physical resemblance to both the terrestrial praying mantis and the shrimp. Mantis shrimp do not have a large part to play in their marine eco-system. They keep the crab and snail populations down lower than if there are no mantis shrimps. The main role they play in the eco-system is when they are zoo plankton floating around the oceans feeding fish, whales and other wild life.

Human activities have had a small impact on the mantis shrimps population. Although the threat of humans isn’t enough for us to be a real threat to their survival. The main reason for people killing them is the Japanese eat them raw as a delicacy. The reason humans are no big threat to them is that they have such high populations. They are quite hard to find in a reef this helps with their survival.

The mantis shrimps future will not really change from what its life is today because humans don’t have a big impact on them and their habitats. The only thing that would really improve on their populations is if the Japanese people stop eating them.

In conclusion mantis shrimps are extremely intelligent and developed physically. They are the ultimate killing machine capable of smashing glass destroying crab shells and breaking rock with their appendages and can do this in a split second.


University of California: Secrets of the Stomatopod by Roy Caldwell

S.N. Patek, W.L. Korff, R.L Caldwell. “Deadly strike mechanism of a mantis shrimp.” _Nature_, vol428, 22 April 2004.


by M. Tavares, Universidade Santa Úrsula, Brazil

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