Teacher’s questions for This Shrimp Packs a Punch


Before reading:

1. List what you know about lobsters, crabs, shrimp and other crustaceans.

2. Armor and weapons aren’t unique to humans. Can you think of any examples from nature?

During reading:

1. What gives mantis shrimp their cartoonish appearance?

2. How can a mantis shrimp smash glass?

3. Mantis shrimp share a partial name with the praying mantis. Why is that?

4. What is a smasher? A spearer?

5. Mantis shrimp do what with their clubs to make them even more lethal?

6. What is cavitation?

7. In what ways is a mantis shrimp’s eye so complex?

8. Why would the ability to detect the color red not be an advantage for a mantis shrimp living in deep water?

9. Name one theory for why mantis shrimp produce low rumbling sounds.

After reading:

1. Given what you know about the mantis shrimp, what defenses might you expect its prey to have developed to avoid being eaten?

2. Biomimicry involves seeking inspiration in nature for solutions to human problems. Beyond stronger cars and tougher armor, what other inventions could the mantis shrimp inspire?

3. How would you explain the differences in diet between mantis shrimp smashers and spearers?


  1. Do you think mantis shrimp would make good pets? Write a paragraph supporting your answer.
  2. Preserving an organism’s habitat can benefit it and people alike. Do you agree with this statement? Explain your answer.