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Dandy Designs title

The title of this article is Self-Destructive Defense.


There are more than 450 species of mantis shrimp with many of the same features as the colorful peacock mantis. The mantis shrimp's amazing striking ability is evidence of engineering design, but these shrimp also have the most elaborate visual system and complex eyes of any animal. Their compound eyes are mounted on mobile stalks they can move independently by specially-designed muscles. This allows the mantis shrimp to look in any direction with each eye and follow fast motion.

Human eyes have receptors for red, blue, green, and luminosity. This mantis shrimp's eyes have 16 color receptors. That allows them to see light spectra and colors which humans cannot see, including ultra-violet (UV) light. They can even tune the receptors for different spectral wavelengths depending on their environment, tuning in the colors they need to see and tuning out others. Each eye is divided into three regions like looking through three cameras. This gives these shrimp excellent depth perception which they need to accurately strike with supersonic speed.

Mantis shrimp eyes can also detect polarized light in different planes to help them see through water reflections. With so much visual data to transfer, these shrimp have multiple parallel data streams from their eyes to their brains. However, much of the data is processed in the eyes to prevent overloading the shrimp's tiny brain.

Further study of the mantis shrimp's ability may lead scientists to develop improved optical media scanners. Scientists also hope the mantis shrimp's ability to detect circular-polarized light will lead to developing systems to detect cancer cells and to study the activity of neurons in humans. The amazing engineering design in the mantis shrimp could not have happened without an intelligent Designer.

Picture credits:
© johnanderson. Image from Big Stock.com