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These benthic marine crustaceans can be up lớn 30cm long & spend most of their time in burrows . They are hunters & may be best known for their mode of attack. They have very powerful forward appendages which are used either for impaling or smashing prey or adversaries, and the forelimb strike of some mantis shrimp has been clocked at 14-23m/s for the striking surface. The particular mode of destruction is a convenient grouping character & mantis shrimp species are commonly divided into “smashers” & “spearers”

Mantis shrimp are highly visual animals and have extremely sophisticated eyes. Each eye is divided into three sections, an upper & lower lobe which detect light & movement, and a narrow band in between of màu sắc and polarization sensors. The upper và lower lobes can perceive the same visual space independently và hence provide depth perception within a single eye. (In some species, the eyes are dorsoventrally elongated, which further separates the viewpoints of the lobes.) This frees up the eyes to lớn move independently of one another & scan opposite hemispheres if needed. The seemingly random eye movements also contribute to lớn the monocular depth perception by allowing additional points of view on that eye’s visual space. The eye movements also distribute the màu sắc and polarization perception from the narrow central band across the visual field, or concentrate it on an object of interest, as needed. Mantis shrimps can see in up khổng lồ twelve color bands, often extending into the ultra-violet . They can also perceive both linear & circular light polarization .

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Why such an investment in vision? For one thing, most mantis shrimp tend to inhabit shallow, brightly lit tropical waters with abundant visual information. Many, in coral reef habitats, for instance, are surrounded by màu sắc information; these shallow dwelling species are more likely to have a wide spectrum of màu sắc perception and are more likely lớn see UV light than their deeper-water kin, who tend lớn have narrower spectral perception ranges commensurate with the available light spectrum. Much of this light is also partially polarized, by scattering, reflection off the air-water interface, và reflection off of biological surfaces, or refraction through transparent organisms .

In addition lớn their surroundings, predators & prey, mantis shrimp receive visual signals from each other. Fights between individuals are generally preceded by extensive posturing involving the antennae & mouthparts, during which the opponents watch one another closely . Courtship sometimes also involves an extended ritual during which females examine potential mates visually . Both of these are instances of trying to lớn avoid violence. In the case of a fight, one of the combatants will often retreat before blows are exchanged, in response only lớn the posturing of the opponent.

In the case of courtship, the ritual often occurs when a male has visited a female at her burrow. Burrows are very important lớn mantis shrimp for protection from predators. During periods when females are receptive, individuals leave their burrows more often than usual to tìm kiếm for mates, and mortality is measurably higher. Mating success has value, but so does a good burrow, và fights between mantis shrimp are often over ownership of a burrow, even between males & females at the height of a mating cycle. So, a receptive female must first determine whether the male at her doorstep intends lớn mate with her or evict her & claim her burrow as his own. A visual inspection of his behavior may decide whether she emerges from the safety of her burrow entrance. His kích cỡ may also be a factor. In some species, females mate only with smaller males, probably because the risk of eviction is less if the suitor is likely to thua thảm in case of a fight .

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The duration of the pair bond varies considerably among species of mantis shrimp. In some species, visiting males never enter the female’s burrow, & leave immediately after mating. Depending on the length of the receptive period and how synchronized the females are, there may still be only one mating opportunity for most individuals, but in some species, females practice sperm storage & may mate at their convenience, perhaps many times before extruding & fertilizing their eggs. In other species, males stay in the burrow with their mates, guarding them from other males, until the eggs are extruded . In the family Lysiosquillidae, mated pairs appear khổng lồ be monogamous và may stay together for six months or longer. Males bởi vì most of the hunting, and show anatomical differences that may be related khổng lồ this: their eyes & forelimbs are larger than those of females. Although females spend more time in the burrow, males in the lab have been seen participating in the care of eggs . Sharing of parental care in this manner is vanishingly rare in crustaceans.