The native Indian Ocean mantis shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus) is recorded as the fastest punching species, with an acceleration equivalent to a 0.22mm bullet fired from a handgun.
The body of the shrimp is only covered by an outer shell from the back of the head to the first 4 segments of the body. Body length can be up to 40cm, weight 250g.
Mantis shrimp is nicknamed “thumb tearer” by European and American fishermen because when removing them from the net, if they are careless, the fisherman can be pinched and torn his thumb. Due to the rainbow iridescent beauty of the luminescent material, this shrimp is often kept as an ornamental. However, this type of shrimp is not as harmless as its beautiful appearance.
A single “swing” of the mantis shrimp’s claws produces up to 2 hits at once to the prey: one hit by the claws and the other by the pressure created by the rupture of air bubbles, the air bubbles. This is in the space between the forks and the surface they hit.
For this same reason, even if the mantis shrimp misses, the pressure exerted by the air bubbles is enough to stun or even kill the prey.
This means that each “punch” thrown is a double punch to the opponent (due to the direct hit and the resulting pressure of the balloon), stunning the prey (because the air bubbles burst). even if the mantis shrimp misses. Therefore, opponents equipped with hard armor such as snails, crabs, scallops, oysters … can not make it difficult for mantis shrimp.
In fact, there have been cases of mantis shrimp smashing fish tanks. The Berkley University website warns that because of their colorful nature, mantis shrimp are very popular as pets, but it should be noted that the aquarium should be made of toughened or thick glass, for tanks with large walls. Thin glass will easily cause accidents.
Maya deVries, an associate professor of biological sciences at San Jose State University, explains: “The mantis shrimp has an energy storage system, where it retracts its arms. There is a latch system to lock in energy. That amount is in place. This pin is mechanically controlled. So, when the animal is ready to strike, it will contract its flexed muscles to release the pin. When the pin is released, all the energy is stored in the cells. muscles and exoskeleton will be released”.