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Fun Mantis Shrimp Facts For Kids

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Few creatures can feel as otherworldly as the mantis shrimp. In this article, we will explore the mantis shrimp that inhabit the depths and burrows of the oceans and also read about some interesting, true facts about the Mantis Shrimp. These crustaceans, belonging to subphylum crustacea have roamed the ocean for about 340 million years where they branched from class Malacostraca. These predators are divided into two categories based on their claws, the smashers (have a developed club sued to smash and bludgeon) and the slashers (have sharp claws that are made to stab prey). Mantis shrimp punch, as you will learn can generate a lot of force. These beautiful creatures are diverse in their distribution and appearance as they are a group of more than 450 different species. Their names let on very little about the nature of this animal as it is neither related to Mantises nor shrimps.

Mantis shrimp true facts are what you will learn by the time you read the end of this article. If you find this article to be informative, make sure to read more on shrimp and centipede.

Fun Mantis Shrimp Facts For Kids


What do they prey on?

Fish, crab, shrimp, worms

What do they eat?

Carnivore

Average litter size?

100+

How much do they weigh?

0.25 -0.2 oz

How long are they?

0.4-15 in

How tall are they?

N/A


What do they look like?

Brown, colorful

Skin Type

Hard thick shell

What were their main threats?

Human Beings

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Ocean Burrows

Locations

Indian And Pacific Ocean

Kingdom

Animalia

Genus

Odontodactylus , Oratosquilla , Squilla

Class

Malacostraca

Family

Odontodactylidae, hemisquillidae, Protosquillidae

Mantis Shrimp Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Mantis Shrimp?

A Mantis shrimp is a type of crustacean. Crustaceans, which are members of subphylum crustacea, include other animals such as crabs, lobsters, prawns, krill. These shrimps form the order Stomatopoda and are carnivorous crustaceans.  

What class of animal does a Mantis Shrimp belong to?

These shrimps belong to the class Malacostraca.

How many Mantis Shrimps are there in the world?

There are over 450 species of mantis shrimp. With such variety, it is hard to estimate the exact number of mantis shrimp that crawl in our oceans.

Where does a Mantis Shrimp live?

The Mantis shrimp lives in the ocean and especially in more tropical areas, with bigger populations in the Indian and Pacific oceans.

What is a Mantis Shrimp's habitat?

Within these oceans, Mantis shrimp make burrows and coral cavities their home and this is where it spends most of its time.

Who do Mantis Shrimps live with?

Mantis shrimp can often live their lives with their mating partner. But they are a very solitary and territorial animal.

How long does a Mantis Shrimp live?

Stomatopods generally live between 3 - 6 years. But there are some species that can even live about 20 years.

How do they reproduce?

Female Mantis shrimp remains fertile during some phases of the tidal cycle. Mantis shrimp partakes in internal fertilization and either lays eggs in a burrow or the female carries them until the eggs hatch. Many species of mantis shrimp form stable monogamous relationships and both sexes take care of the eggs. There are other mantis shrimp species (Pullosquilla and Nannosquilla) where the eggs are divided in two, one taken care of by the male while the other by the female.

What is their conservation status?

Mantis shrimp, of order Stomatopoda, is classified as a species with 'Least Concern' of endangerment. This is due to several factors including lack of predators, wide distribution, and stable populations.

Mantis Shrimp Fun Facts

What do Mantis Shrimps look like?

Mantis Shrimp tell us a lot about marine life.

Mantis shrimp or Stomatopoda, loosely taken from the appearance of the two animals, is named after the praying Mantis and the shrimp. There are about 450 different species of Stomatopoda in the world and these species differ in color and size. They have a flat and translucent body with a tinge of green, although some Mantis shrimp species are colorful like the Peacock mantis shrimp. The abdomen and carapace of the Mantis shrimp are highly segmented. It has many legs that have different functions, three pairs are dedicated to walking, four are claws, and one pair of long claws that reminds you of a praying mantis. They have highly developed eyes that are the envy of the animal kingdom. Their eyes are mounted on top of their head and are distinct emerald green in color.

How cute are they?

While some Mantis shrimp are beautiful with bright colors (like the peacock mantis shrimp) and look almost otherworldly, they are not cute as they do not have any facial features you could relate to. Their eyes that move independently of each other actually might creep out some people.

How do they communicate?

The form of communication for mantis shrimp is rather sophisticated. Mantis shrimp make noise in groups that resemble a rhythmic rumble. These synchronized rumbles are hypothesized to help communicate mating calls and threats.

How big is a Mantis Shrimp?

Mantis shrimp varies a lot in size depending on which of the 450 species it belongs to. Some are as small as 0.4 in while others can grow up to 15 in. Although the average mantis shrimp is about 4 in long, the largest known mantis shrimp was recorded at about 18 in long.

How fast can Mantis Shrimps move?

Though small in size, mantis shrimp are one of the fastest swimmers in the sea and can cover a distance of about 30 times their body length in just a second which is about 10 ft per second.

How much does a Mantis Shrimp weigh?

The weight of a Mantis shrimp is between 0.4 oz and 3.2 oz.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no unique names based on the sex for the Mantis shrimp.

What would you call a baby Mantis Shrimp?

Baby mantis shrimp can be referred to as Larvae of Mantis shrimp.

What do they eat?

Mantis shrimp are ruthless carnivores and violent predators. They use their sharp claws to attack their prey such as fish, crabs, worms, and even other shrimps.

Are they harmful?

With the nickname 'thumb splitter' and having the ability to break a human finger in seconds, the mantis shrimp can safely earn its label as harmful. Based on their different types of claws they possess, these Stomatopods can be classified into two types. The ones with appendages that are club-like which can bludgeon and smash the prey powerfully are called smashers, while the others that have spiny appendages which have the capacity to snag the prey are called 'spearers'. These 'spearers' and 'smashers' therefore can even hurt animals much larger than them.

Would they make a good pet?

To some, Stomatopods makes for an ideal pet as it displays highly intelligent behavior and looks exotic. But they require deep sand to burrow in and have the strength to break thin aquarium glass which makes getting them as pets generally very expensive. On the bright side though, they are very tough creatures and do not require highly specific conditions to thrive.

Did you know...

Human beings can consume Stomatopods. In many cultures, the mantis shrimp is considered a delicacy. In Japanese cuisine, boiled Mantis shrimp ( Oratosquilla oratoria) called Shako is consumed in sushi and sashimi preparations. In Cantonese cuisine on the other hand they are consumed by human beings in a similar style as lobsters and are paired with garlic and chili peppers. Other cuisines, too, have their own take on Mantis shrimp be it Hawaii, Philippines, Mediterranean countries, or Vietnam. Peacock mantis shrimps are available in the market at a price of $130 USD.

The Mantis Shrimp's strength

Mantis shrimp is a formidable predator that uses its claws to inflict serious damage to their prey in close-range fights. Their punch is so fast that it is quite literally faster than a blink of an eye by about 50 times. It matches the acceleration of a 22 caliber bullet which is a punch that packs a lot of force for such a small animal. Their punch can generate 1500 newtons of force, which can cause injury to even humans. They are more likely to be fatal to humans if their allergic to shrimps. These fast aquatic fighters move their appendages (to punch) at such high speeds that the low pressure created from its punch itself reaches a temperature of 8,500 F and creates a shockwave that can kill prey.

Mantis Shrimp eyes and vision

The eyes of a Mantis shrimp are fascinating. They move independently and have 16 types of photoreceptors (as compared to just three that humans have). They even have the unique ability to fine-tune light from longer wavelengths (spectral tuning). Despite these abilities, at close range, the Mantis shrimp cannot discern the color emitted 25nm apart in wavelength. Mantis shrimp can sense light from deep ultraviolet to far-red and can even detect polarization.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including orb-weaver spider, or house centipede.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Mantis Shrimp coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

Moumita is a multilingual content writer and editor. She has a PostGraduate Diploma in sports management, which enhanced her sports journalism skills, as well as a degree in journalism and mass communication. She's good at writing about sports and sporting heroes. Moumita has worked with many soccer teams and produced match reports, and sports is her primary passion.

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