Spearing mantis shrimp on a reef

Spearing mantis shrimp on a reef

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Credit: GEORGETTE DOUWMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Spearing mantis shrimp (Ditosquilla miles) on a reef. Mantis shrimp (order Stomatopoda) are marine crustaceans distantly related to true shrimps. They are active predators and use their club-like front limbs (tucked under body) to kill prey. They feed mainly on crabs and molluscs, breaking open their shells with blows from these clubs. A mantis shrimp's strike is one of the fastest animal movements in the world, with a force similar to that of a low-calibre bullet. The eyes of the mantis shrimp are the most complex in the world, containing as many as 16 different types of photoreceptor (compared to four in humans). Photographed in the Lembeh Strait, North Sulawesi, Indonesia.

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