The mantis shrimp’s tail

Brilliant blue patch on mantis shrimp tail

The mantis shrimp at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium finally let me take a photo of his tail, but barely. I’m telling you that is one smart critter.

He saw me watching him on one side of the tank, so he moved to the other side. Then when I moved to the other side, he had enough and took off for his burrow. So this is the photo I snapped right before he dove into his underground home. Apologies for a blurry photo, he moved too fast!

Despite the blur, you can see the brilliant blue spots on his tail. Simply amazing!

Bright colors are a warning to others. In the case of the mantis shrimp, the blue tail is saying, “Beware, I can do major damage to you with this tail.” A mantis shrimp tail is so powerful that aquarium’s have to use special glass to prevent a solid tail whack from breaking it.

The moral of this story is: Pretty colors on animals could mean danger, so play it safe and keep your distance.

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