You might expect mantis shrimp, with their rounded claws capable of delivering shockwave-producing blows, to fight each other in short and gory bouts of dominance. But researchers in Biology Letters tell a different story: When mantis shrimp of the same sex were placed in a small tank and fought over a simulated nesting site, the winner was the shrimp with more stamina. Meaning, they don’t need to hit each other harder, so much as keep the punches flying. Hammering away with their raptorial appendages, the tiny crustaceans defended themselves by directing their opponent’s blows toward a region of their tale known as the telson.
That’s an impressive shield. Mantis shrimp strikes are so fast and powerful, they reach up to 51 miles per hour at accelerations more than 10,000 times that of gravity, enough to shatter snail shells and aquarium glass … just in case you were thinking of starting your own fight club at home.