DURHAM, N.C. – Mantis shrimp don’t need baby food. They start their life as ferocious predators who know how to throw a lethal punch.
A new study appearing April 29 in the Journal of Experimental Biology shows that larvae of the Philippine mantis shrimp (Gonodactylaceus falcatus) already display the ultra-fast movements for which these animals are known, even when they are smaller than a short grain of rice.
Their ultra-fast punching appendages measure less than 1 mm, and develop right when the larva exhausts its yolk reserves, moves away from its nest and out into the big wide sea. It immediately begins preying on organisms smaller than a grain of sand.
Although they accelerate their arms almost 100 times faster than a Formula One car, Philippine mantis shrimp larvae