20 Interesting Mantis Shrimp Facts – Part II

by Sankalan Baidya

In our last article about Mantis Shrimps, we spoke about one of its super powers of hunting but we weren’t quite done. So, let us finish what we started and go through another list of 20 interesting mantis shrimp facts in order to learn the other amazing powers these marine creatures have.

Interesting Mantis Shrimp Facts: 1-10

1. When it comes to behavior, mantis shrimps exhibit pretty complex behavior. They often engage in ritualized fighting within the same species.

2. For communication, they often make use of the fluorescent pattern found on their bodies. They patterns may be used for communication with other species or individuals within the same species.

3. Mantis shrimps have pretty good memory. They are capable of recognizing their neighbors with whom they interact on a regular basis. In order to do this, they make use of individual smell or through visual signs.

4. These creatures have a very long lifespan. In the unforgiving conditions of the marine biome, they can live up to 20-30 breeding seasons.

5. In certain species of mantis shrimps, males and females come together only during the mating season and when they are done, they just part their ways.

6. There are other species that show monogamous relationship in which a male or a female will live with only one opposite sex partner for a very long time, often up to 20 years.

7. Partner mantis shrimps in a monogamous relationship will share a single burrow and will display coordinated activities like males and females both taking care of eggs or only females taking care of eggs while males taking care of hunting for both.

8. In some species, females lay two egg clutches. One clutch is taken care of by the mother while the other is taken care of by the male.

9. When it comes to super powers of mantis shrimps, we need to talk about their eyes. These creatures are equipped with THE MOST ADVANCED AND COMPLEX eyes in the whole of animal kingdom and humans are nowhere even close in competition.

10. Mantis shrimps are known for their extremely complex and highly elaborate visual system that allows them to see in light spectrum or recognize colors that many other animal species don’t even know that they exist!

Interesting Mantis Shrimp Facts: 11-20

11. Compared to 3 or at the most 4 color receptive cones in human eyes, mantis shrimps are equipped with 16 different types of color receptive cones.

12. 6 specialized ommatidia rows sit in the midband region of the eyes of a mantis shrimp. Of these 6 rows, 4 are equipped with photoreceptor pigments of 16 different types. Out of these 16 different photoreceptor pigments, 4 are meant for filtering color while 12 are meant for color sensitivity.

13. The eyes of mantis shrimps are not attached to their heads. They rather sit on mobile stalks. Each eyes is capable of moving independently of the other.

14. The midband in each eye divides the eye into three separate regions. One region is the midband and the other two regions are the flat hemispheres separated by the midband.

15. Each of these three parts in a single eye can see an object separately. This means that each eye is equipped with trinocular vision, allowing accurate depth perception.

16. These crustaceans are capable of perceiving multispectral images as well as polarized light. They can also see in ultraviolet spectrum. In fact, their vision is so advanced that they can actually detect the different planes of the polarized light.

17. From evolutionary aspect, mantis shrimps enjoy great advantages because of their complex eyes. Scientists believe that these creatures use polarization vision to secretly communicate with others while avoiding unwanted attention from predators.

18. Combined with their polarization vision, their ability to see more colors allows them to recognize prey more effectively. For instance, some of their prey species are semi-transparent or transparent. This is where polarization comes in handy.

19. Not just for hunting, mantis shrimps also use their polarization vision to avoid natural predators like barracuda that are known for having shimmering scales, making them difficult to identify.

20. In 2014, researchers of University of Queensland published a study in which they stated that since polarized light is reflected differently by healthy and cancerous tissues, mantis shrimps are capable of identifying neuron activity and cancerous tissue. According to the study, the same effect can be replicated using specialized cameras that use aluminum nanowires atop photodiodes. According to the researchers, the aluminum nanowires can replicate the polarization-filtering effects present in mantis shrimps.


Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

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