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Gallery: Magnificent Mantis Shrimp

Mantis Shrimp

A mantis shrimp

(Image credit: Jenny/Wikimedia Commons)

The colorful mantis shrimp Gonodactylus smithii. Researchers compare mantis shrimp to "heavily armored caterpillars."

Peacock Mantis Shrimp

The peacock mantis shrimp

(Image credit: S. Baron)

The peacock mantis shrimp Odontodactylus scyllarus from the Indo-Pacific boasts strong, hammer-like claws.

Peacock Mantis

Peacock mantis shrimp on the seafloor.

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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 peacock mantis shrimp with eggs.

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A mantis shrimp guards a raft of pink eggs.

Green Shrimp

Peacock mantis shrimp

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Peacock mantis shrimp are known for their complex visual system.

Territorial Crustacean

Peacock mantis shrimp on the seafloor.

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Peacock mantis shrimp are highly territorial.

Armored Crustacean

Peacock mantis shrimp on the seafloor.

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A view of the colorful peacock mantis shrimp body.

Smashing Close-Up

A close-up of a peacock mantis shrimp.

(Image credit: Teguh Tirtaputra (opens in new tab), Shutterstock (opens in new tab))

Peacock mantis shrimp are not shrimp, but their shrimp-like appearance (and tendency to attack like a praying mantis) gave them their name.

Stephanie Pappas
Stephanie Pappas

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.