Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Fierce forces and stunning speeds: Biomechanics of the mantis shrimp's strike

Sheila Patek, Ph.D.
University of California, Berkeley

Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Pacific Forum 3:00 p.m.

Mantis shrimp (Stomatopoda) are well-known for their morphologically diverse feeding appendages, which are used for smashing hard shells and spearing evasive prey. In this lecture, I will discuss recent discoveries about how mantis shrimp can generate such extreme movements and, more specifically, how peacock mantis shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus) are able to smash open snail shells. These extraordinary animals achieve speeds and forces at the outer known limits of biological systems and offer a fascinating glimpse into the evolution of extreme animal movements.

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