Saturday, June 23, 2012

Life of Mantis Shrimp

Life of Sea | Mantis Shrimp | Mantis shrimp is marine crustaceans, the members of the order Stomatopoda. Although often animals and are among the most important predators in many shallow, tropical and sub-tropical marine habitats they are poorly understood as many species spend most of their lives hidden in caves and holes. They have name "Mantis" shrimp because they seem to look and hunt characteristics of a praying mantis insect. Approximately 400 species of mantis shrimp are currently described in the world, all living species in the suborder Unipeltata. 
Scientific classification
Kingdom:     Animalia
Phylum:     Arthropoda
Subphylum:     Crustacea
Class:     Malacostraca
Subclass:     Hoplocarida
Order:     Stomatopoda, Latreille, 1817

Mantis shrimp is an aggressive and typically solitary sea creatures spend most of their time hiding in rock formations or burrowing intricate passageways in the seabed. Or they wait for prey to chance upon them or, unlike most crustaceans, actually hunt, hunt and kill prey. They rarely leave their homes except to feed and move, and can be daytime, nighttime or dim, depending on the species. Most species live in tropical and subtropical seas (Indian and Pacific Oceans between eastern Africa and Hawaii), although some live in moderate seas. 
There are two categories hunt of Mantis shrimp, the "spearers" and "smashers". The "spearers" use their spear-like claw to silently stabbing soft tissued prey. The "Smashers" use their powerful, club-like claw touching, bursting open or pulverize harder bodied prey. It is interesting that the power of the "smashers". Appendix may produce a hit near the power of a .22 caliber bullet and are notoriously known as "thumb splitters". Rumor has it that due to the enormous power of these animals, they can crack aquarium glass. Smashers use this ability to snails, crabs, molluscs and rock oysters to attack, their blunt clubs so that the shells of their prey to crack into pieces. Spearers other hand, the preferred meat of softer animals, like fish, with barbs and hooks claws easier cutting. 
Mantis shrimp have a long lifespan and exhibit complex behavior, such as ritualized fighting. Some species use fluorescent patterns on their bodies for signaling with their own and maybe even other species, expanding their range of behavioral signals. They can learn and remember well, and are able to recognize individual neighbors with whom they regularly interact. They can recognize them by visual signs and even by individual smell. Many have developed complex social behavior to defend their space against rivals. In life, they can as much as 20 or 30 breeding episodes. Depending on the species, the eggs are laid and kept in a cave, or they can be worn under the tail of the female until they hatch. In monogamous species, the Mantis shrimp remain with the same partner for 20 years. They share the same burrow and may be able to coordinate their activities. Both sexes often care for the eggs.
The eyes of Mantis shrimps can be for different types of coral, prey (which are often transparent or semi-transparent), or predators such as barracuda, shimmering scales that can be recognized. Alternatively, the manner in which mantis shrimp hunt (very rapid movements of the claws) a very accurate depth information, which requires accurate depth perception. The fact that those with the most advanced vision also are the species with the most colorful bodies, suggests that the evolution of color vision has taken the same direction as the tail of the peacock. 
It's called "sea locusts" by ancient Assyrians, "prawn killers" in Australia and now sometimes referred to as "thumb splitters" because the ability of animals to painful cuts to inflict if handled carelessly. Mantis shrimp has powerful claws that they use to attack and kill their prey by spearing, stunning or dismemberment. Although it happens rarely, some larger species of Mantis shrimps are able to break through aquarium glass with a strike from this weapon. Many saltwater aquarium to keep stomatopods in captivity. These aquarists may play a role in understanding the mysteries of the mantis shrimp. However, mantis shrimps considered pests by other aquarium hobbyists, because many types of percussion make burrows in the exoskeletons of dead corals. It is not uncommon for a piece of coral skeleton, also known as live rock, live mantis shrimp into an aquarium. Once in the tank, they feed on fish, corals and tiny crustaceans.

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