this colorful mantis shrimp was seen scurrying like a mouse from one coral to the other. when it saw me approach, it stopped and half its body stood-up in a sort of “ready to fight” position.
also known as stomatopods, mantis shrimp are large and particularly violent marine crustaceans. they use their powerful front claws to capture and subdue prey by either spearing the animals or smashing them with heavily calcified clubs. they say its strikes are the fastest known movements in the animal kingdom and the force of its strike approaches that of a 22 caliber bullet. in some cases, they have even been known to break through a quarter inch aquarium glass! weight for weight they are probably the most formidable animals alive.