The mantis shrimp may perhaps be the deadliest predator in all of the Earth. It is armed with highly-developed eyes that can detect more colors than any creature on Earth, and can see polarized light. But what it’s known for are not its eyes, but rather its punch, which is the fastest out of any predator on Earth. Despite being only six inches long, this creature may perhaps have the deadliest punch of all. Its strike is fifty times faster than we can blink, not to mention that its punch is capable of raising the surrounding water’s temperature to that of the surface of the sun.
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Now, one might say that if the mantis shrimp’s punch is already that fast in the water, then its punch can be much faster in air, as air has a lower density. However, according to a recent paper in the Journal of Experimental Biology, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
… scientists found that the animal punches at half the speed in air, suggesting that the mantis shrimp can precisely control its striking behavior, depending on the surrounding medium.
But why is this the case? Find out the answers over at Ars Technica.