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Transcript of Mantis Shrimp
What is a Mantis shrimp?
A Mantis shrimp is a marine crustacean, of the order Stomatopoda. Measuring up to 12 inches in length, Mantis shrimp are one of the most important predators residing in shallow, tropical & sub-tropical marine habitats. With over 450 species, Mantis shrimp represent a diverse group & come in a variety of colors.
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The chitinous exoskeleton, or cuticle, covering the body & limbs is divided into segments interconnected by strong, flexible membranes, which allow for articulation at the joints.
The cuticle is highly mineralized with calcium salts. Such an exoskeleton provides considerable mechanical leverage & protection.
Mantis shrimp increase in size by molting. They shed their old cuticle, expand in size, & secrete a new cuticle that eventually hardens. This process may require several days for completion. They stay in sheltered locations until the new exoskeleton is hardened.
Composed of a system of segmentally arranged muscles: dorsal, latero-dorsal, ventral, & superficial-ventral muscles, plus basal extensors & flexors of the appendages.
The musculature inserts partially on a non-chitinous internal skeleton, including an endosternite, tendons, & columns.
Axial & appendicular muscles of the fore & hindgut attach to the cuticle directly, or via endoskeletal tendons.
Paired groups of dorsal & ventral longitudinal trunk muscles run the length of the body, attaching to the inter-segmental tendons in the head & thorax, & directly to the body wall in the abdomen.
The limbs of Mantis shrimp are so resilient that researchers have been studying their cell structure for use in the development of advanced
for combat troops.
Integumentary & MusculoSkeletal Systems
Mantis shrimp do not have just one brain! Instead, they have one brain behind their eyes & smaller "brains", called ganglion, located along the main nerve cord.
When sensory signals reach the ganglion, they are processed immediately & a signal is sent to the muscular system. This allows reactions to occur very quickly.
The main brain is responsible for receiving sensory signals from the eyes & receptors located on the head & antennae.
Mantis shrimp have compound eyes, which are located on movable stalks. Their eyes are extremely sensitive to movement & they have a wide field of vision that can reach over 180 degrees.
Olfactory (sense of smell) hairs are used to locate food and recognize other crustaceans & their sexual states.
Mantis shrimp have some of the most elaborate visual systems in the animal kingdom!
Each of there eyes creates
separate images vs. human eyes, which each create one image!
As a comparison, the rainbow humans see stems from just
colors. The rainbow a Mantis shrimp sees is created from
Spearers & Smashers
Mantis shrimp are split into two groups, spearers & smashers:
The digestive tract consists of: a mouth, esophagus, two chambered foregut, midgut with outpocketings called digestive glands, or hepatopancreas, & a hindgut, or rectum.
Lining the stomach walls are groups of rows of stiff bristles & teeth called the "gastric mill", which aids in digestion.
Partly digested food slowly works its way through the filtering system of the pyloric stomach into the pouches of the digestive glands. There, both enzyme production & the storage & absorption of food takes place.
The cardiac stomach, which opens directly from the mouth without an intervening esophagus, can hold the remains of large prey.
The maxillary gland is the most common excretory organ in the adults & consists of a closed central end-sac surrounded by a tubular excretory duct.
The primary organs of urine production are the antennal & maxillary (mouth part) glands.
Fecal waste is released through the anus, from the short rectum.
The structures that function as kidneys are located near the base of the antennae.
Digestive & Excretory Systems
Consists of a complex open circulatory system.
The heart consists of a single-chamber that is enclosed in a pericardial sinus (membranous sac enclosing the heart), located dorsally above the gut.
It is elongated & tubular with several holes, called ostia, used for return flow.
Blood is pumped to the head through an aorta & pumped to the "gills" & locomotion appendages through both lateral & ventral arteries.
Since they lack veins, the blood returns to the heart through a series of sinuses.
Circulatory System & Respiration
Mantis shrimp lack true "gills" & instead have adapted gill-like outgrowths as their primary organs of respiration.
Gases diffuse (spread) across their respiratory surfaces.
Special mechanisms have evolved to boost oxygen uptake, since their chitinous bodies are relatively impermeable. These include: pleated or "double" gills that increase surface area, rich vascularization of respiratory surfaces, ventilating mechanisms & special respiratory pigments, such as hemocyanin (contains copper).
Vascular & Respiratory Systems
Mantis shrimp reproduce sexually.
Some species of Mantis shrimp can mate with one partner & stay with that partner for their entire life! However, the majority mate with multiple partners.
During sexual reproduction, the male exhibits a unique courtship signal for his potential mate. Once the male & female come together, the male transfers his sperm to the female, where she either 1) retains the fertilized eggs 2) lays the eggs immediately in her burrow/crevice 3) keeps them on her forelimbs & in some cases may give them back to the male to hold
Endocrine System & Hormones
The X-organ-sinus-gland complex, which lies in the eyestalk, is the major neuroendrocrine control center.
It regulates maturation, dispersal of pigments in the eye & for body color change & some metabolic processes such as molting.
Defense & Aggression
Many Stomatopods have a color-coded, species-specific eye spot on their claws, which is displayed during posturing.
More aggressive species have brighter eyespots.
When fighting with the same or closely related species, they reduce the force of their blows or engage in ritualized combat.
An elaborate set of courtship signals is needed by the male to prevent the female from attacking him!
Reproductive System & Hormones
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Video via biopixel
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Image via McGregor Museum
circulatory system shown in red
reproductive system shown in green
digestive system shown in yellow
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Image via Berkely.edu
in the deoxygenated state and
when exposed to air or to oxygen dissolved in the blood.
Smashers dismember & knock their prey unconscious.
Their claws accelerate with the same velocity as a gunshot from a
In less than three-thousandths of a second, they strike their prey with
Their limbs move so quickly that water
around them in a process termed
. When these cavitation bubbles collapse, it produces an
. So, even if they miss their target, they can still kill it. The force of these collapsing bubbles produces temperatures in the range of several thousand Kelvins & emits tiny bursts of light, producing an effect called
: impale soft-bodied prey with their spiny raptorial claws, much like a preying mantis. They spend most of their time lurking in burrows until they are ready to strike their fast-moving prey, typically fish.
: use their swollen hammer-like claws for crushing hard-bodied prey. They also spend much of their time hiding in burrows until they are ready to attack their prey, such as crabs, mollusks, & oysters.
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Video via Patek Lab