The mantis shrimp is well-known among biologists. It packs a powerful punch that can strike its enemies with one of the fastest moves in the animal kingdom. It's been clocked at around 23 meters per second, and these blows can generate big forces that knock out enemies of the mantis shrimp. Researchers wanted to know more about the physiology underlying these punches, since muscles can’t provide the energy needed to power such a move.
New research reported in iScience has revealed more about the biology behind these blows. The shrimp uses a saddle-shaped structure that is able to store up energy in layers; the structure remains compressed while waiting to strike, and releases the stored energy during a strike. Learn more from the video.