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Don’t Mess with this Peacock!

MARINE Life small blue transparentMonthly Marine Life is back! I decided to publish this monthly article every 19th of the month and this post is the third edition 🙂  This time I am sharing a little bit information on Peacock Mantis Shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus). A beautiful marine crustacean that you don’t want to mess around with!

Peacock mantis shrimp is a native to the Indo-Pacific. I find this mantis shrimp is an amazing creature and not only me who do think so! Murray Rosenbaum in his article The Amazing Mantis Shrimp explains why this shrimp is the greatest creature on this planet. Personally, I can think of three reasons why I find the mantis shrimp is amazing.

Peacock Mantis ShrimpFirst, peacock mantis shrimp is very pretty to see in its habitat: the ocean. It looks like an alien, isn’t it? I have seen it during my dive in Indonesia and the Philippines. It has striking colors on its shell that make it as the most outstanding mantis shrimps. There are more than 400 species of mantis shrimps, and the peacock is just one of them. When a mantis shrimp died and cooked, the color of its shell is changed, similar to lobsters and other marine crustaceans. In Japan, mantis shrimp sushi called as shako sushi.

Second, mantis shrimp has the best world’s eyes. While human eyes have three photoreceptors to be able to see red, green and blue then the mantis shrimp eyes have 16 photoreceptors. That means the mantis shrimp can see red, green, blue and 13 more colors that human can not have. I do wonder! Additionally, its eyes can see objects with three different parts of the same eye. In short, mantis shrimp has better sight from the eagles and most animals in the world plus us, human!

Peacock Mantis ShrimpThird, despite its tiny size (max is 18 centimeters), mantis shrimp has the fastest punch and it is very strong! It has two raptorial appendages on the front of its body that could break glasses like showing in this video. There was a story that the peacock mantis kept in aquarium attacked its human to bleed when trying to clean the aquarium. The shrimp is very protective of its territorial. I was careful when taking its picture during my dive – I did not want to annoy the shrimp to break my camera lens!

A smart comic about the mantis shrimp created by the Oatmeal can be read here – Why the Mantis Shrimp is My New Favorite Animal.

Photos were taken in Lembeh Strait and Bangka Island (Indonesia).

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  1. I love the oatmeal comic, it’s hilarious. All the articles and videos are so interesting. I’m really fascinated by this little animal. Your pictures are gorgeous.

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