“The Fastest Punch in the World”

MANTIS SHRIMPS ARE PARTICULARLY AGGRESSIVE CRUSTACEANS with exceptional traits. One is their ability to smash hardshelled prey with lightning strokes. As this awesome Smithsonian Channel video shows, the mantis shrimp punch is perhaps the strongest, fastest left hook in the ocean. The mantis headlines earlier this year focused on their complex eyes and exceptional vision (seethe Poseidon’s Web post How Mantis Shrimps See – With Polarity). Even more impressive – and worrisome to fishermen who may accidentally

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How Mantis Shrimps See – With Polarity

MANTIS SHRIMPS ARE FAMOUS FOR HAVING UNIQUE VISUAL CAPABILITIES – not only do they have 16 color receptors in their eyes, they can see six types of polarized light properties that are invisible to us human beings. Presumably, this helps them in a lot of ways, from hunting to avoiding being hunted, possibly for navigation and other uses. Polarized vision is complicated. FORTUNATELY: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign engineer Viktor Gruev was inspired to develop a camera

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Banded Coral Shrimps – A Dance, a Wave & Maybe a Nice Massage

BANDED CORAL SHRIMPS MAY BE THE FRIENDLIEST CREATURES ON THE REEF.  Well, they’re always waving at us. Waving, that is, their super-long white antennae trying to attract passing divers – okay, passing fishes, actually – to come over for a little close-up cleaning. With their prominent tentacles, red-and-white banded bodies and outsized claw limbs, they’re high-profile members of the fish-cleaning profession that’s also inhabited by anemone shrimps, cleaning gobies and other little (often-juvenile) fishes. Found in

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The Shrimp-Goby Connection: An Ocean Odd Couple

GOOGLE THIS FISH, THE SPOTTED PRAWN GOBY, and most of the posts you’ll find are for the aquarium trade; Amblyeleotris guttata appears to be a popular fish for home saltwater aquariums. Www.fishbase.org carries a listing for it, but it’s largely related to it colors, size and distribution (which is the Western Pacific from the Philippines down to the Great Barrier Reef at Australia; this photo was taken on the GBR). IT’S A SHRIMPGOBY   All of

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How Snapping Shrimp Snap

SNAPPING SHRIMP SNAP THEIR CLAWS with speeds so fast they create shockwaves in the water (cavitation bubbles, in scientific parley) that implode with immense energy, resulting in those cracking sounds. How the little guys do it wasn’t clear. Now a team of scientists has used micro-computed tomography, high-speed video and 3-D printed scale models to figure it out. NEW CLAW DYNAMICS Analyzing the claw dynamics of 114 species of shrimps, they found two previously unrecognized

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Lobsters: Babies on Board

WE GET LOBSTERS FOR DINNER BY CATCHING THEM ON DIVES (okay, or buying them in the store) but the process really begins with lobsters begetting more lobsters in the ocean.Lobster reproduction is a lengthy, arduous journey that takes as long as 20 months from mating to hatching. During much of that time a female lobster carries her eggs around on her underside, protecting and nourishing them. FIRST: MOLT YOUR SHELL AWAY    Like their crustacean

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Sea Fans, Rods & Plumes: Thinking Outside the Calyx

NOBODY GOES TO THE TROPICS TO SEE GORGONIANS. The sea fans, plumes, rods and whips that make up Order Gorgonacea are just there, incidental bystanders on the “real” reefs of beautiful, stony corals. Sometimes, they’re in the way. While none of the 500 or so species of fans, plumes, rods or whips can compare to the exquisite beauty that hard corals achieve (although some sea fans make a good effort), they’re part of the broad

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Echoes of The Wall: The Pink Floyd Pistol Shrimp

SCIENTISTS IDENTIFYING A NEW SPECIES OF PISTOL SHRIMP is interesting but not astounding, since discoveries like this continually advance our understanding of the web of life. UNLESS…The researchers name the new species after the iconic prog rock band Pink Floyd. That’s what a team of marine naturalists from the United Kingdom, the United States and Brazil did with the newly identified Synalpheus pinkfloydi, which they found in Pacific waters off the coast of Panama. A

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For Sea Spiders, It’s All in the Legs

SEA SPIDERS ARE CREATURES WITH LONG LEGS radiating from tiny central bodies. In a class of marine arthropods called Pycnogonida, they’re found in more than 1,300 species in oceans all over the world LOOKS SIMILAR, WORKS VERY DIFFERENTLY    The only association they have with terrestrial spiders is … a physical appearance of long legs and tiny central bodies. Other than that, they are totally unlike real spiders, or anything else, for that matter. IT’S ALL IN

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