Mantis Shrimps are one of the biggest crustaceans in the world. In my part of the world they live in shallow parts of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Their other less-common name is Thumb-splitter and not for nothing! They strike with the force of a 22-calibre bullet – enough to split your hand open! They have so much force that big Mantis Shrimps can even brake aquarium glass.
There are two different types of Mantis Shrimp known as “spearers” and “smashers”. “Spearers” have more Preying Mantis-looking front limbs and “smashers” have big clubs on the ends of their front limbs. “Smashers’ ” prey includes hard-bodied animals and “spearers’ ” diet consists of more slippery food like fish.
Their colour varies from dull brown to bright rainbow colours, as the Rainbow Mantis Shrimp’s name suggests.
Watch this video of a Mantis Shrimp catching a crab!