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Dangerous mantis shrimp spotted near Miami Beach shores during Ian

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Photo: Reinhard Dirscherlullstein bild via Getty Images
Mantis shrimp, crustaceans with powerful limbs that can punch and pierce their prey, showed up near Miami Beach shores during Hurricane Ian, a surfer says.

Driving the news: A South Beach surfer warned on social media Wednesday that mantis shrimp were found as the hurricane plowed through the area.

Why it matters: The marine crustaceans can punch faster than a bullet and draw blood with their strong claws.

State of play: Mantis shrimp are common in Florida, but they typically hide in burrows or among dead coral, Florida International University professor Heather Bracken-Grissom told Axios.

What they’re saying: “With the hurricane, they probably got kind of evacuated from their burrows,” Bracken-Grissom said.

Context: The crustaceans, which can grow from about half an inch to about a foot long, live around the world, both in tropical and subtropical waters, according to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. There are 450 different species of mantis shrimp, divided into two categories:

Of note: Mantis shrimp also have one of the most complex visual systems in the animal kingdom, and can see colors that humans cannot.

The intrigue: The shrimps’ fighting capabilities have been studied by Harvard scientists, with funding from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory.

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