Mantis shrimp don’t pull a punch! Babies pack an explosive punch that can split WATER as young as nine days old, study results show
- Adult mantis shrimp are famous for their quick blows that form bubbles
- However, a new study shows that shrimp have this ability when they are only 9 days old
- Slow motion video through a microscope shows how the limbs accelerate at 16,500 degrees per second, almost 100 times faster than a Formula 1 car
Baby mantis shrimp can produce a quick punch when they’re only nine days old and smaller than a grain of rice.
The powerful blow of this species, which can bubble, is the most famous trait and is used to hunt and find shelter.
However, a new study that glued baby shrimp to a toothpick and filmed it in slow motion shows that the animals can do this from a very young age.
Baby mantis shrimp can produce a quick punch when they’re only nine days old and smaller than a grain of rice. The powerful blow of its kind that can bubble
The footage of the remarkable young shrimp, which has transparent shells, shows how they produce a beat and how quickly their appendix moves.
The Duke University team shows that the limbs accelerate 16,500 degrees per second, almost 100 times faster than a Formula 1 car.
Adult mantis shrimp can smash prey with one blow from their club-like limb at a top speed of 51 mph, which is so fast that it creates bubbles in the water.
The collapse of these bubbles creates shock waves that give the shrimp a two-pronged attack and increase their chances of stunning or killing their prey.
A new study in which baby shrimp were glued to a toothpick and filmed in slow motion shows that the animals can do this from a very young age
The footage of the remarkable young shrimp, which has transparent shells, shows how they produce a beat and how quickly their appendix moves. The Duke University team shows that the limbs accelerate 16,500 degrees per second, almost 100 times faster than a Formula 1 car
Tiny crustaceans the size of a sunflower seed close their claws 10,000 times faster than the blink of an eye
A tiny shrimp snaps at its claw in less than 0.01 seconds, about 10,000 times faster than a human eye.
The movement is so fast that there is an audible pop over the water and bubbles appear.
Males of the species Dulichiella cf.appendiculata are only tiny, about the size of a sunflower seed, but 30 percent of their body weight comes from a single giant claw.
The packed claw closes in just 93 microseconds and moves at a speed of 38 miles per hour. It takes the human eye about 150 milliseconds to complete the blinking process.
Graduate student Jacob Harrison conducted the research on young shrimp that were caught as larvae in the ocean around Hawaii and said it took more than a year to perfect his filming method.
“Collecting the larvae can be incredibly difficult,” he says.
“It can be incredibly difficult to search through a bucket full of larval crabs, prawns, fish, and worms to find the mantis shrimp.
“I had to stick a 4 mm larva onto a toothpick, place it on a specially designed rig, and align the person in the field of view of the camera lens before I could even start collecting data.
“It took us about a year to figure out the right way to set up the camera before we knew we could record these videos.”
But the footage they received reveals intricate details about the punches and how they’re made.
It shows that a muscle in her arm contracts, pulling the appendix to the animal’s body, forcing the rigid exoskeleton to bend.
This stores energy in the joint like a spring. The shrimp then release an internal latch that holds the bend in place, and this relieves pressure and allows the arm to retreat to its natural position at an extreme pace.
The study was published in the Journal of Experimental Biology.