Image of the Day: Landing Blows

The smashing mantis shrimp is strategic in its attack on sea snails.  

Jun 18, 2018
Sukanya Charuchandra

A smashing mantis shrimp (Neogonodactylus bredini) hammers a Cerithium spp. snail. This video includes the last few strikes to the apex before the mantis shrimp started eating. VIDEO COURTESY OF THE PATEK LAB.Scientists have learned that the Caribbean rock mantis shrimp (Neogonodactylus bredini) is anything but slapdash in its approach to decimating its shell-covered food morsel. In a study reported in the Journal of Experimental Biology on June 14, researchers detail its tactics. 

Researchers provided the mantis shrimp with sea snails of various shapes and saw that it would switch how it pummeled its prey depending on the shell’s thickness.

R.L. Crane et al., “Smashing mantis shrimp strategically impact shells,” J Exp Biol, doi:10.1242/jeb.176099, 2018.