One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A predatory marine crustacean with a pair of large spined front legs that resemble those of a mantis and are used for capturing prey.
Order Stomatopoda: many species
- ‘Having played with the big shoals of fish for a while, I explore the rubble at the base of the reef, finding pairs of dartfish, garden eels, a blue-spotted stingray and a mantis shrimp which scuttles into its burrow.’
- ‘I soon found a mantis shrimp in a small hollow, and then a beautiful brown-and-cream-coloured nudibranch, Chromodoris gleniei, looking more like a fancy confection than a sea beast.’
- ‘When mimicking a mantis shrimp, for example, the octopus sits in a burrow with only the eyes and part of the head exposed, and wraps one tentacle around its head to resemble the folded raptorial appendages of the mantis shrimp.’
- ‘Like many marine crustaceans, mantis shrimp rely on their sense of smell to find food, mates, and habitat.’
- ‘There's also a couple of varieties of fire-gobies as well, and on a slightly larger scale, a mantis shrimp that slashes at its prey.’
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