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Sculptures by Phyllis Bone


Mantis Shrimps are among the most colourful crustaceans. They owe their brilliant rainbow sheen to the reflection of light from tiny striations in the cuticle. They owe their common name to their anterior raptorial appendages, which resemble those of the praying mantis. These appendages are greatly modified and can be thrust out at high speed and with great power to impale or grasp passing prey. They can also crush mollusc shells and the hard exoskeletons of fellow crustaceans. The spikey telson and uropods are used defensively when not employed as rudders during swimming.