The colorful mantis shrimp Gonodactylus smithii. Researchers compare mantis shrimp to "heavily armored caterpillars."
Peacock Mantis Shrimp
The peacock mantis shrimp Odontodactylus scyllarus from the Indo-Pacific boasts strong, hammer-like claws.
Peacock mantis shrimp are solitary hunters, capable of swinging their claws with a force equal to a .22 caliber bullet.
Mantis Shrimp with Eggs
A mantis shrimp guards a raft of pink eggs.
Peacock mantis shrimp are known for their complex visual system.
Peacock mantis shrimp are highly territorial.
A view of the colorful peacock mantis shrimp body.
Peacock mantis shrimp are not shrimp, but their shrimp-like appearance (and tendency to attack like a praying mantis) gave them their name.
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Stephanie Pappas is a contributing writer for Live Science, covering topics ranging from geoscience to archaeology to the human brain and behavior. She was previously a senior writer for Live Science but is now a freelancer based in Denver, Colorado, and regularly contributes to Scientific American and The Monitor, the monthly magazine of the American Psychological Association. Stephanie received a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of South Carolina and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.