Peacock Mantis Shrimp — He’s Baaaaack!
Tiny, deadly and gorgeous. That’s the peacock mantis shrimp, and we just placed one on exhibit in our Splash Zone galleries.
You’ll have to work a bit to see it. It’s housed — alone — in a small aquarium inside the Coral Crawl tunnel in Splash Zone. But it’s well worth the effort!
This is the first time we’ve hosted a mantis shrimp since 2001 when one of them stowed away inside some coral rock and earned us international headlines and live CNN coverage. (There’s something compelling about a “killer shrimp” terrorizing other animals in the children’s area of an internationally known aquarium.)
They pack quite a punch
Since then, we’ve been wary of deliberately introducing a mantis shrimp — and for good reason. Aquarists and scuba divers refer to them as “thumb-splitters” because their claws pack a punch as powerful as a .22-caliber bullet.
Those same claws can shatter a clam shell, and crack open a crab or shatter glass. They can bring down a blue-ringed octopus or a fish. The claws are made of a material so hard it can deliver 50,000 blows between molts - without breaking. It’s being studied by scientists as a model for crafting super-strong body armor for soldiers.
And it moves its claws so fast that they turn water into plasma and sound into light.
"A thermonuclear bomb of light and beauty"
But that’s not the end of the story, as celebrated cartoonist Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal explains in his online love-letter, "Why the mantis shrimp is my new favorite animal."
He starts by examining the eyes that make them unbelievably effective hunters. Their vision is so sensitive that a mantis shrimp can see in both infrared and ultraviolet spectra, and uses 16 color receptor cones (compared to just three for humans).
Inman observes: “Where we see a rainbow, the mantis shrimp sees a thermonuclear bomb of light and beauty.”
It’s that combination of experiencing a world of transcendent beauty — and then turning around and pounding its prey to smithereens — that fascinates Matthew Inman.
We hope you’ll be fascinated, too, at the chance to see a peacock mantis shrimp face to face — on the other side of shatterproof acrylic.
- vikingsuityum likes this
- kirzi likes this
- pandaelaine likes this
- albanianashes likes this
- zachrm24drum reblogged this from theanimalblog
- itschillee likes this
- luelladarkbring reblogged this from d4zed-dre4mer
- d4zed-dre4mer reblogged this from oatmeal
- bursting-with-colors likes this
- blogblor reblogged this from oatmeal and added:
- desdelacabezadenatali likes this
- dragonsign513 likes this
- trumpettbonetimelord reblogged this from oatmeal and added:
- leilani238 likes this
- blahblahblahwords reblogged this from oatmeal
- blahblahblahwords likes this
- reginarubalcava likes this
- katanaxd likes this
- govermentpig likes this
- wolfxgoddess likes this
- spacetimejumpa808 reblogged this from oatmeal
- goodbyegraceful97 reblogged this from oatmeal
- brokenpulse likes this
- 0liiviaa reblogged this from whynotpinkfloyd
- 0liiviaa likes this
- the-british-gentleman likes this
- whynotpinkfloyd reblogged this from oatmeal and added:
- nwenner reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
- vexedcomplexity reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
- the-curious-ermine likes this
- blogblor likes this
- rememberlifeslittlethings reblogged this from theanimalblog
- rues-little-sister likes this
- passacaglia05 reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
- xaaaaander reblogged this from theanimalblog
- thebenefitsofbeingasideblossom reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
- easterneuropeankhajiit reblogged this from the-world-of-sphinx
- easterneuropeankhajiit likes this
- theseareourlastdays likes this
- stonedfaceman likes this
- confusedblonde12 reblogged this from iflewbeyondthesunbeforeitwastime
- the-world-of-sphinx reblogged this from catsman-justcats
- loverlycup reblogged this from escapingtherain
- iflewbeyondthesunbeforeitwastime reblogged this from escapingtherain
- escapingtherain reblogged this from catsman-justcats
- luxury-edition likes this
- catsman-justcats likes this
- brettthesatanist likes this