One of the many species of mantis shrimp, the peacock mantis shrimp, can swing its front appendage, or club, at rates of up to 50 mph, or about the same as a 22-caliber bullet.
The vibrant shrimp, which is only found in the waters off Indonesia, uses its quick punch to shatter the shells of its snail, mollusk, crab, and other prey.
The fastest punch in the ocean belongs to mantis shrimp. Knowing how their claws survive now
The mantis shrimp is a very dangerous adversary. This marine crab, which is only around 10 centimeters (4 inches) long and is neither a shrimp nor a mantis, has extraordinary eyes that can see cancer and a club-like hand that can throw the ocean’s fastest punches.
We’re talking about punches that produce 1,500 newtons of force at a speed of 23 meters per second.
Think about pounding a wall a few thousand times at those speeds, said David Kisailus, a material scientist at the University of California.
The team was astounded to learn that the mantis shrimp possesses an impact-resistant nanoparticle coating that permits it to punch wildly while the coating handles the laborious task of collecting and dissipating energy.
Some kinds of mantis shrimp can wield their claw like a spring-loaded hammer, in case you’d missed the buzz about these tiny punching machines.
These “smashers” (yeah, that’s the exact phrase) struck down on their hard-bodied prey, like snails and crabs, and broke strong mollusk shells open like they were eggs in a matter of milliseconds.
All of this is well known. Previous studies examined the reasons why the club is so successful, and some even drew entirely new ideas from the mantis shrimp.
The team writes in a recent study, “These tests showed that a helicoidal arrangement of mineralized alpha-chitin fibers paired with a herringbone architecture, which originates from a mineralisation gradient, can deflect and twist fracture propagation.”
“Although the aforementioned research shed light on the mechanisms of club toughening, the effects of many high-strain-rate impacts, comparable to those that the mantis shrimp would experience in its natural habitat, are still unknown.”
To get an exceptionally close-up look at the surface of the peacock mantis shrimps’ (Odontodactylus scyllarus) club, the team used transmission electron and atomic force microscopy. They discovered that the coating is made of a dense matrix of a mineral called hydroxyapatite formed into a nanocrystal structure.
The hydroxyapatite itself rotates when the club is struck against a surface, but the nanocrystal structure breaks and then slowly recovers.
“According to Kisailus, the particles behave nearly like marshmallows under relatively low strain rates before recovering under high strain. However, under high strain, the particles stiffen and crack at the nanocrystalline interfaces. When you shatter anything, you create new surfaces that let a lot of energy escape.”
This mechanism is pretty remarkable in that it outperforms many designed materials in rigidity and damping, and it may have some amazing uses in the future.
According to Kisailus, “it’s a rare mix that outperforms most metals and technical ceramics.”
We can envision how to engineer comparable particles to offer improved protective surfaces for use in cars, airplanes, football helmets, and body armor.
Harrison and his colleagues gathered a variety of microscopic animals from boat docks in Oahu, Hawaii, in an effort to unravel this enigma. They sorted out larvae of Philippine mantis shrimp (Gonodactylaceus falcatus), which are about the size of rice grains. The larvae were afterwards adhered to toothpicks so that the punches could be captured on high-speed video. In order to see how the morphology of the species’ weapons changed over time, the researchers also captured a clutch of eggs from the species and nurtured the hatchlings for 28 days.
The larvae started attacking quickly nine days after hatching. The pace of their punches was roughly 1.4 kilometers per hour. According to Harrison, that is comparable to the speed of an adult shrimp’s punch given their tiny arms, which can be up to 100 times shorter than those of an adult. More significantly, it swims up to ten times as fast as crustaceans and fish that are around the same size as the larvae and more than 150 times as fast as the juvenile brine shrimp the researchers fed it. According to Harrison, these weapons first appeared about the time the mantis shrimp larvae started eating live prey and had used up all of their yolk sacs from birth.
According to Harrison, “Mantis shrimp larvae are capable of moving extremely swiftly for something so little. Because their muscles and bodies are so small, small objects have a hard time moving swiftly because there isn’t really enough room or time for them to build up speed.
Young mantis shrimp may require these swift limbs “because of the water they dwell in,” according to Harrison. It can be difficult for minute larvae to move through water since it feels viscous to them more than it does to larger organisms. He points out that their strong appendages might be able to get beyond this drag and seize prey.
The researchers were wrong to assume that the larvae would move more quickly than the adults. For instance, the larvae’s arms rotated during punches at speeds that were around a third to half of that of adult peacock mantis shrimp. According to Harrison, these findings imply that there might be some limitations on these weapons at these minuscule scales.
Invertebrate neuroecologist Kate Feller of Union College in Schenectady, New York, who was not involved in this study, suggests that the larvae may not need weapons as quickly as adults need. “They just need a crossbow that works, and they don’t need it to be this crazy superpowerful thing,” she says.
The most astounding aspect of this research, according to Harrison, was being able to see into the larvae’s glassy bodies and observe how the muscles responded to a punch, which could previously only be envisioned from surgical dissections and CT scans.
Because these larvae are transparent, there is a tremendous opportunity to explain things like how the latch operates, claims Feller. That’s a lot of fun.
Mantis shrimp, we apologize, but the Dracula ant’s snap-jaw is quicker.
With the fastest animal limb known to science, an intriguing ant outruns the mantis shrimp.
The mantis shrimp is well-known online. It is the focus of a well-known The Oatmeal comic and is renowned for having the “world’s quickest punch.” However, a recent study found that a Dracula ant’s formidable mandibles can outmatch the speed of a mantis shrimp’s strike.
The University of Illinois’ Andrew Suarez and his team of researchers discovered that the Dracula ant’s snap-jaw can move at “the quickest animal movement yet recorded.”
Mystrium camillae, the ant’s scientific name, can snap its mandibles at speeds of up to 322 km/h (nearly 200 mph). The speed of a mantis shrimp’s attack can exceed 50 mph (80 km/h).
The researchers employed cameras, X-ray images, and computer simulations to learn more about the Dracula ant’s peculiar jaws.
Overview of Mantis Shrimp Facts
Number of Species
Status of Conservation:
Mantis shrimp are known for their powerful strikes and go by the moniker “thumb splitter” because of the excruciating gashes they can give humans if handled carelessly.
Around 450 different species of mantis shrimp exist in the world, and their hues range from muted brown to vivid tones of green, red, and blue. The Peacock mantis shrimp, one of the larger, most vibrant mantis shrimps frequently seen, is the most notorious species. It is also known as the Harlequin mantis shrimp, Painted Mantis Shrimp, or Clown Mantis Shrimp.
They normally reach a length of about 10cm (4 inches), however exceptional specimens have been measured at 46cm (18 inches). Only the back of the head and the first few segments of the thorax are protected by the mantis shrimp’s shell, or “carapace.”
Although they are a very common species, little is known about them because they are lonely, territorial marine creatures who spend the most of their time hiding among rocks and digging in the sea floor.
They are most frequently located at the foot of coral reefs in U-shaped burrows. They may be active during the day or only at night, depending on the species.
Mantis shrimp are dangerous predators, and each species has a different diet. Fish, crabs, clams, snails, worms, shrimp, and squid are among their favorite foods. Due to their enormous power, they may also prey on animals that are considerably larger than themselves.
Can a mantis shrimp outrun a bullet in speed?
The peacock mantis shrimp has an impressive bite. The crustacean can break through aquarium glass and mollusk shells with its hammer-like claws without getting hurt. A recent study has revealed what makes its claws so resilient: a special composition and structure that halts cracks in their tracks. This knowledge could aid engineers in creating lighter, more durable materials for use in the military, medicine, and other fields.
Sheila Patek, a biologist at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who initially measured the speed of the mantis shrimp’s blows, describes the research as “an absolutely stunning work, a tour de force… that opens so many new windows for biologists and engineers.” Plus, I’m delighted someone did it since I truly wanted to know all of this information.
Even though mantis shrimp are rather widespread, not much is known about them. The vibrant crustaceans have the fastest punch on earth, extraordinary vision, and exceptionally strong armor. When they strike, they accelerate faster than a.22-caliber bullet by 80 kilometers per hour, swinging out their dactyl clubs, armlike appendages that are often held close to their body. Mantis shrimp use this process to crush their frequently hard-shelled prey, and they can do so up to 50,000 times without damaging their clubs in between molts.
Chemical engineer David Kisailus and his team at the University of California, Riverside questioned how mantis shrimp could continue to hit without seriously harming their clubs. Therefore, they dissected the clubs of 15 mantis shrimp (who, if removed, simply develop new ones). The scientists analyzed the club’s interior structure using a variety of tools, including scanning electron microscopes and x-rays, and discovered a complicated arrangement of layers.
Smashing. Even the prey with the toughest shell can be made into a meal by the mantis shrimp.
The mineral hydroxyapatite, a crucial component of human bones and teeth, is present in the impact region in a highly crystalline form. More hydroxyapatite layers can be found below that, this time in an amorphous, noncrystallized state. Chitin, a less rigid substance frequently seen in the exoskeletons of crustaceans piled in helices with hydroxyapatite filling in between the stacks, is present in the innermost region. The researchers disclose their findings in Science online today. The three layers differ in hardness, stiffness, and orientation, allowing for the formation of minor cracks but preventing them from expanding or spreading, keeping the club whole.
Mother Nature prevents catastrophic failures by tolerating local breakdowns, which is counterintuitive, claims Kisailus. “Their architecture is what gives them their strength.”
This design will be used by the team to create lighter and more powerful soldier armor, harden cars and other vehicles, and even shield athletes from concussions. Preliminary testing have revealed that the materials being developed by Kisailus and colleagues are bulletproof and closely resemble the club of the mantis shrimp.
A mantis shrimp has it ever swung at a person?
RESULTS: The fishermen view the mantis shrimp as harmful and steer clear of them in order to minimize the risk. We list five accounts of these creatures inflicting harm on people: one by the tail spikes and four by the claws