The smashers deliver the fastest punch of any animal. As the club unfurls, its acceleration is 10,000 times greater than gravity. Moving through water, it reaches a top speed of 50 miles per hour. It creates a pressure wave that boils the water in front of it, creating flashes of light (shrimpoluminescene – no, really) and immensely destructive bubbles. The club reaches its target in just three thousandths of a second, and strikes with the force of a rifle bullet. Against such punches, even the best armour eventually fails.
But the mantis shrimp’s club doesn’t fail. It can deliver blow after punishing blow, breaking apart its prey without breaking apart itself.
Archive for June 13th, 2012