This week in Lembongan… We spotted a mantis shrimp at Manta Point calmly sitting out in the open, even if they look gorgeous, some call them the nightmare of the ocean, as they can be powerful killers, but maybe it’s why we love them!
One amazing fact about them is the colors that they can see. As humans we have three types of color-receptive cones. Cones allow us to see colours, such as green, blue, red and all the other colours that derive from them. When we talk about the vision of mantis shrimp, they are like superheroes compared to us, as they have sixteen color-receptive cones and can see UV. They are as well the only animals that we know of that can detect polarized light. They also can perceive depth with one eye and move each eye independently. How cool is that?!
It’s impossible to imagine what they can see, but incredible to think about.
This marvelous creature lives in warm and shallow water for up to 20 years. They can grow up to being 30 cm in length, which is pretty big for a shrimp.
So now that we have been through how wonderful and beautiful they are, it is time to speak about how peaceful they are…
Mantis shrimp’s bodies have two raptorial appendages on the front and can be divided on spearers and smashes, based on the morphology of these appendages and tactic that they use to kill their prey. Spearers have spiny appendages that are used to stab soft-bodied prey such as different types of worms and fish. Smashers have club-like appendages that easily smash shell of snails, oysters, crustaceans and mollusks.
Attacks from mantis shrimps happen extremely quickly; 50 times faster than the blink of an eye. With velocity of 10 meters per second, their punch has the same power as a .22 caliber bullet. Smashers are famous for their incredible strong punches that can break the glass of aquarium. They are so peaceful right?
So next time that you spotted one, remember to not put your hand to close!