Here are links to some movies of the mantis shrimp. Clicking on each link should get you to the movie: use the "Back" button on your browser to return here.

WARNING: the default behavior for many browsers, when you click on a movie, is to clear the browser window, download the movie, and then show it. For the larger movies (60 MB), the delay while the movie is being downloaded can be so long that you figure the link is bad, and just give up. When in doubt, right-click the link, and save the file, locally, on your computer, and then run the local copy. If you're sure that a link is bad, however, please let me know!

The last group of movies (below the horizontal line) are the best, and absolutely wonderful!

Bobbing (8 MB): here he is, standing between two rocks, bobbing a bit, which is a characteristic behavior.

More Bobbing (14 MB): more bobbing, with a characteristic antenna cleaning at the start of the clip.

Curl Turn (15 MB): when he's had enough of you, he can turn around in a surprisingly small space and then run away.

Close-up (9 MB): a close-up showing him looking out of his den. Those eyes keep moving around on the end of the stalks.

Tunnels (30 MB): this is a fairly long and boring movie, but it will give you some idea of how difficult it is to photograph this species: you never know where they will pop up next!

Closeup Bobbing (6 MB): this shows a closeup of him bobbing in front of his den.

Scooting (4 MB): this clip will give you some idea of what his body is shaped like, and one way in which he can move around the tank using all of his legs to "swim".

Eye Motion (11 MB): extreme closeup of eye motion: a wonderful clip!

More Eye Motion (14 MB): more close up eye motion!

Even More Eye Motion (10 MB): even more close up eye motion, along with some antennae twitching.

Scoot! (1 MB): here he is peering cautiously around a rock and then running for cover!

Another Scoot! (2 MB): another scoot for cover!

Grabs Food and Manipulates It (53 MB): this clip is long and large, but the amount of detailed behavior makes it worth the download time. He first comes out of his den, showing all of his myriad legs, antennae, and cover plates and flaps. He grabs the food and backs into his lair, and then starts manipulating the food with six (eight?) of his front legs. He then "salutes" with his left antenna for a while, cleans his left antenna, cleans his right antenna, and "salutes" with his right antenna. All the while, he is rolling and inspecting the food. Notice his swimmerettes flailing away under the food in the background before he returns into his den to eat.

More Good Manipulation (56 MB): Similar to the above clip, but with some very strange antenna/leg maintenance around 30 seconds into the clip!

Grabs food and... (46 MB): this clip is long and large, but it is worth it. He cautiously wanders out from his den to pick up the piece of food that I had just dropped in the tank. He approaches it carefully, picks it up, manipulates it with his legs, and then... Well, you'll have to watch it to find out. Always gets laughs of glee and joy at the ending!

Cracks a clam open (60 MB): this clip is longer and larger, but is well worth it. The clip shows how the mantis can crack a clam shell open in a matter of seconds, and then eat the flesh within. The loud "cracking" sounds that you hear are the mantis' "hammer" smashing into the shell, breaking it into pieces.

Close up of cracking a clam open (23 MB)

Mid "air" swirl (4 MB): One day, he decided he couldn't wait for his food to drop down into the bottom of the tank, so he rushed out and grabbed it in mid "air", and then did a swirling flip and ducked back into his cave. I took a chance that he would do it again, and this is the result. He had just molted, so maybe he was especially hungry. Divers and gymnasts will be envious...

Another mid "air" swirl (5 MB)

Another mid "air" swirl, this time with too much glare (5 MB)

Another brief, graceful mid "air" swirl (6 MB)

And still another! This time, the food landed way on the other end of the tank. He comes out fully, is not sure where the food is, heads back to the cave, and then "smells" the food in the "air" and then heads for it. Good side shots of his entire body. The squawks are from the parrots. (14 MB)

What can I say: he's amazing! I missed the first part of this aerial display, but watching all of his "legs" swimming is interesting. He bobbles the food and has to go back to grab it again in mid "air". (5 MB)

Another one. (10 MB)

What can I say: he's amazing! Sometimes he swirls in mid "air" and heads back to his cave; sometimes he comes out, turns around on the ground, and returns head-first; and sometimes he backs into the cave. Who knows how he decides which method to employ! This time he backs around on the ground and enters the cave head first. (21 MB)