A stomatopod or mantis shrimp

A stomatopod or mantis shrimp

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Credit: DR T.E. THOMPSON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: An unidentified stomatopod or mantis shrimp found in the waters off Jamaica. Stomatopods are marine burrowing crustaceans belonging to the class Malacostraca. They have a small, flattened carapace, stalked compound eyes and five pairs of thoracic limbs. The second pair of thoracic limbs is greatly-enlarged, giving the animal its mantis- like appearance. Like the legs of the mantis, they are used for reaching out and capturing prey. The leg joints are equipped with sharp spines which prevent the prey (shrimps, fish & molluscs) from escaping. The flattened abdominal limbs and tail fan are used for swimming.

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Keywords: animal, crustacean, invertebrate, invertebrates, mantis, mantis shrimp, nature, shrimp, stomatopod, wildlife, zoology

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