Stomatopod SMASH!: biomechanics of an invertebrate’s weaponry

This is the mighty stomatopod, the last thing some unlucky sea creatures ever see.  The energy for the stomatopod’s strike comes from a spring-type mechanism, which helps to explain the incredible speed of the attack.  In the below video from the Dunn Lab’s CreatureCast, Nati Chen takes us through the motions of this swift invertebrate.

Be sure to also check out this TED talk from Sheila Patek, who studies animal speed, including stomatopods’.  Before being usurped by another arthopod, Dr Patek showed that a species of stomatopod held the title of fastest feeding strike of any animal.

Image:  Wikimedia Commons, originally from Flickr user Silke Baron (cc)
Video:  CreatureCast (Casey Dunn) on Vimeo (cc)

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