Mantis shrimp – might not like living in your aquarium

Mantis shrimp eyes
This is one sea creature that will do something about being contained in a aquarium if they don’t like it!

The Mantis shrimp, which is actually not a shrimp but a relative to lobsters (they are know as stomatopods), has a unique and interesting method of hunting which might have some surprising side effects for unwary aquarium owners.

The Mantis shrimp’s specially “designed” claw uses an interesting system to allow the shrimp to store massive amounts of energy. It can then release the energy in a lightning-fast snap allowing the Mantis to shatter the shells of snails and other tasty but armored prey. The mechanism that the creature uses is quite interesting and one has to wonder how such an apparatus evolved.

The interesting thing about these little beasts is the fact that their snail-smashing claws can also break aquarium glass. As the Mantis digs through the ocean bottom in the wild, it uses its powerful striking claw to attempt to break anything hard in its path. You can imagine the Mantis digging through your aquarium rocks and suddenly encountering the glass, a pretty hard object from the creature’s point of view. Apparently, the most common result of this is chipped glass and small leaks, but you can imagine that it could be much worse in some cases. It’s a very colorful, interesting looking animal that packs a big punch!

I guess that the Mantis also takes its toll on corals and other expensive goodies that are commonly found in a salt water tank, making them known as quite the trouble-maker. This forum lets aquarium owners discuss everything about the stomatopod.

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