Appearance''O. scyllarus'' is one of the larger, more colourful mantis shrimps commonly seen, ranging in size from 3 to 18 centimetres . They are primarily green in colour, with orange legs and leopard-like spots on the anterior carapace.
Their ability to see circularly polarised light has led to studies to determine if the mechanisms by which their eyes operate can be replicated for use in reading CDs and similar optical information storage devices.
Habitat''Odontodactylus scyllarus'' is a burrower, constructing U-shaped holes in the loose substrate near the bases of coral reefs in water ranging from 3 to 40 metres deep.
''O. scyllarus'' is a ''smasher'', with club-shaped raptorial appendages. An active hunter, it prefers gastropods, crustaceans, and bivalves, and will repeatedly smash its prey until it can gain access to the soft tissue for consumption. It is reported to have a "punch" of over 50 miles per hour . This is the fastest recorded punch of any living animal. The acceleration is similar to that in a .22 caliber handgun, with 340 pounds-force per strike. In addition, the surface of its appendages is made up of extremely dense hydroxyapatite, layered in a manner which is highly resistant to fracturing. Glass aquaria can be broken by them. The composition is being investigated for potential synthesis and engineering use.
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