Australia Day, shrimp on the BBQ?
Sheree Marris, Unico Conservation Foundation Director
January 26, 2022
We respectfully acknowledge the traditional owners of Australia.
As some of us prepare to celebrate Australia Day by throwing shrimp on the BBQ, we thought we’d celebrate by sharing some spectacular shrimp footage from our big blue backyard.
Enter the Mantis Shrimp. Named after the terrestrial Praying Mantis that also employs a quick-strike attack – it has the fastest claw in the west.
There are two distinct types, smashers and spearers based on their front claw design. They both can lash out with an acceleration similar to that of a 22 calibre bullet with 10,400 g-force.
Exploding from their burrows spearers will stab and latch onto their prey, while the smashers’ strike using their club-like claw to knock out prey. This action is so quick that a cavitation bubble forms as water vaporises. When the bubble collapses, a second shock wave of energy hits the already stunned prey; it is a real double whammy! The prey doesn’t see it coming until it’s too late.
The Mantis Shrimp also boasts the worlds most sophisticated sight and has 16 colour receptors that can see polarised light, UV light, and tens of thousands of colours that our human three colour receptor eyes just can’t see.
Fun fact: Shrimp and prawns are not the same things.