Monday, November 26, 2007

'Monty the Magically Malevolent Mantis Shrimp'

So we're a bit distracted and disturbed at my workplace... obviously so when we give some of our charges names like the title of this post. Check out the YouTube video below for a video I took of 'Monty' at mealtime. We have him trained to recognize the noise of the long tweezers tapping on glass as a signal that it is time to come get his food.

Video Caption on Youtube:
Young green mantis shrimp (Geonodactylaceus sp.) takes a piece of krill from long tweezers. Note the loud clicking noises as he violently whacks the tweezers with his claw in an attempt to take the food. This is why I do not feed him by hand. They are commonly known in the aquarium trade as "Thumb-splitters!" We named this one 'Monty'. He is currently about 2 inches long, was about three quarters of an inch when we originally acquired him by accident with a load of aquacultured live rock at my workplace. They are normally a pest organism in reef tanks but we didn't have the heart to euthanize him so we set up a mini-reef just for him. They are some of the most intelligent invertebrates in the ocean and they have the most complex eyes of all creatures, with the ability to see colors far outside the range of most mammals. Oh yeah, that's my coworker you hear calling me a dork in the beginning (she thinks it's abnormal that I am actually taking a video of this).


Bacchus said...

But who says being a dork is a bad thing. I think it is great but then again I had a terrarium of crickets in high school so I could see their entire life cycle. Did you know that females have a long ovipositor that they stick into the ground to lay eggs?

How are you settling into the new living situation?

nonsequitur said...

No, it's not all bad ;-) Yes, I did know that about crickets... my brother and I used to observe them closely and read about them when we were younger. The new living situation is adequate, but not ideal. Going a bit crazy not being in control of my own living space right now. Maybe this is a lesson in learning how to give up control when necessary. I am not trying to diminish the kindness my parents have shown in allowing me to stay with them until I find a better permanent living situation (this time with no strings attached), I'm simply a control freak who likes to be in an environment that is my own.