mantis shrimp

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Related to mantis crab: mantis shrimp, mantis prawn

mantis shrimp,

marine crustaceancrustacean
, primarily aquatic arthropod of the subphylum Crustacea. Most of the 44,000 crustacean species are marine, but there are many freshwater forms. The few groups that inhabit terrestrial areas have not been particularly successful in an evolutionary sense; most require
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 of the order Stomatopoda, characterized by a pair of enlarged appendages, called maxillipeds, that form powerful claws for seizing prey. The last two segments of each of these legs are strong and sharp, and the end segment is folded back over the next segment to make a scissorslike cut. Mantis shrimps have stalked eyes and flattened abdomens with appendages bearing gills. They are usually found in warm shallow tropical or subtropical seas. A number of species are quite large, reaching 1 ft (30 cm) or more in size. Mantis shrimps are an important seafood outside the Western Hemisphere. They are classified separately from either true shrimpsshrimp,
small marine decapod crustacean with 10 jointed legs on the thorax, well-developed swimmerets on the abdominal segments, and a body that is compressed laterally.
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 or praying mantises (see mantidmantid
or mantis,
name applied to the large, slender, slow-moving, winged insects of the family Mantidae in the order Mantodea. Predatory insects, mantids have strong, elongate, spiny front legs, used for grasping prey.
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), whose forelimbs the maxillipeds superficially resemble. Mantis shrimps are grouped in the phylum ArthropodaArthropoda
[Gr.,=jointed feet], largest and most diverse animal phylum. The arthropods include crustaceans, insects, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, scorpions, and the extinct trilobites.
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, subphylum Crustacea, class Malacostraca, order Stomatopoda.