Mantis shrimps are crustaceans that belong to the order Stomatopoda. They are also called prawn killers and sea locusts. In Australia, mantis shrimps are known as thumb splitters or prawn killers. They are thought to possess some of the strongest claws which they mostly use to stun their prey.
Scientists have discovered 400 living species of mantis shrimp.
Adult shrimp grows up to 10 cm in body length but some larger species can reach the size of about 38 cm. The biggest mantis shrimp ever caught at 46 cm.
Mantis shrimp are highly aggressive and they typically live alone. They will stay hidden underneath the sea beds or rock formations.
They become active at night but mantis shrimps can forage during the day.
Mantis shrimp will chase and kill prey which is quite rare in crustaceans.
The mantis shrimp makes home in many different habitats such as tropical waters, temperate waters, subtropical waters, and shallow waters.
They are primarily found in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean including Florida, eastern Africa, and Hawaii.
Mantis shrimps eat snails, rock oysters, molluscs, crabs, and fish.
Mantis shrimps strike their prey with a lightning speed of 23 m/s (83 km/h; 51 mph)—giving no chance to the victim to escape. However if they miss in the first place, the shock wave which is generated as a result of strike is enough to kill the prey.
They have quite a good memory in that they can remember their counterparts. Mantis shrimp do make friends. They are highly faithful and they will remain with the same mating partner for as long as 20 years.
Mantis shrimp love to spend time in sandy areas where they can dig burrows.