The National Wildlife Federation

Donate Donate

Attack of the Mighty Midget

A swift kick from a diminutive marine crustacean called the mantis shrimp may be the most powerful blow delivered by any predator on the planet

  • Laura Tangley
  • Aug 01, 2004
A SWIFT KICK from a diminutive marine crustacean called the mantis shrimp, or stomatopod, may be the most powerful blow delivered by any predator on the planet. Using a high-speed video camera, biologists at the University of California–Berkeley clocked the shrimp flailing their clublike front legs at prey (usually snails) at speeds of up to 75 feet per second, far faster than most known animal movements of any kind.

According to the researchers, who published their study in Nature, a saddle-shaped spring powers the animals’ legs, which move so fast they cause water to vaporize.

Get Involved

   Please leave this field empty

2019 Photo Contest Now Open!

The National Wildlife® Photo Contest celebrates the power of photography to advance conservation and connect people with wildlife and the outdoors.

Enter Today
Antelope Canyons