Mantis Shrimp

Images

Loading...
Wiki source

Mantis shrimps, or stomatopods, are marine crustaceans of the order Stomatopoda. Some species have specialised calcified "clubs" that can strike with great power, while others have sharp forelimbs used to bapture prey. They branched from other members of the class Malacostraca around 400 million years ago. Mantis shrimps typically grow to around 10 cm (3. 9 in) in length. A few can reach up to 38 cm (15 in). The largest mantis shrimp ever caught had a length of 46 cm (18 in) and was caught in the Indian River near Fort Pierce, Florida, in the United States. A mantis shrimp's carapace (the bony, thick shell that covers crustaceans and some other species) covers only the rear part of the head and the first four segments of the thorax. Varieties range from shades of brown to vivid colors, as more than 450 species of mantis shrimps are known. They are among the most important predators in many shallow, tropical and subtropical marine habitats. However, despite being common, they are poorly understood, as many species spend most of their lives tucked away in burrows and holes.