This week’s Weird Animal Wednesday really packs a punch! Last Wednesday, the 10-12 year-old Ocean Week campers found a mantis shrimp over by Shell Bluff Road during an ocean seining!

The mantis shrimp is one of the fiercest stomatopods in the ocean because of their mighty punch, massive size and incredible eyesight. This isn’t the typical shrimp you eat for dinner.

The mantis shrimp punches its prey with a force that can be compared to a bullet shot from a .22 caliber gun. They can throw a 50 mph punch with their clubs, which act like fists so strong they can break through glass. They need these clubs to break into the shells of the crab, clam, and oyster, their food source. Its limbs are so quick that the water around them heats up to a boil (supercavitation). How can this shrimp have the fastest predatory strike in the ocean and not break? Well, they have a shock absorbent core to prevent cracking. A mantis shrimp can grow 4-12 inches in length!

And if that isn’t enough, the mantis shrimp has an eyesight so advanced that most animals and humans are unable to experience. It has the broadest visual spectrum of any known animal with 16 color receptive cones. The eyes sit on two appendages moving in different directions in order to capture all of its surroundings. This is truly a super shrimp!

We hope you enjoyed this week’s Weird Animal Wednesday! You can discover your own weird animal at one of our seining events. Visit our events calendar here for dates and descriptions.