Print Mantis Shrimp Reading Comprehension
||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 8 to 10
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||beating, best, further, latter, vigorous, knowing, photoreceptors, smashers, bullet, comparable, caliber, deadly, pupils, killing, pupil, scenario
1 If you have a saltwater aquarium, you have many things to watch out for. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you still face the dreaded moment when your pets die. Among all the challenges involved in tending your tank, the most heartbreaking one is perhaps noticing your collection of underwater creatures disappearing mysteriously. If that happens, you should suspect one thing -- mantis shrimp!
2 Mantis shrimp are aggressive nocturnal hunters. During the day, they like to hide in burrows that they usually excavate under rocks or corals. As the night falls, they wait patiently by the entrance of their hideouts for a "home-delivered meal." If an unsuspecting fish, shrimp, crab, or pretty much anything edible passes the front door of a mantis shrimp's home, it most likely would perish without even knowing what had just happened. That is because mantis shrimp can strike with their powerful claws at a velocity of 10 meters per second, a force comparable to a 0.22 caliber bullet! With such a swift and vigorous motion, mantis shrimp not only kill prey with ease, but also inflict severe wounds to anybody who mishandles them. It is no wonder that they are also known as "thumb splitters."
3 Despite the name and similar appearances, mantis shrimp are actually not shrimp. While both animals are crustaceans, they belong to two separate orders. Mantis shrimp are stomatopods, and shrimp are decapods. To determine whether the creature in question is a mantis shrimp, we can either observe the way it holds its claws or check its eyes. A mantis shrimp likes to fold its deadly assault weapons under its head. Such a gesture is reminiscent of an insect called the praying mantis (or mantid) that we can often find in gardens. Undoubtedly, this behavioral resemblance is what inspired scientists to dub the animal the mantis shrimp.
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