Extraordinary Eyes

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Science  09 Mar 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6073, pp. 1163
DOI: 10.1126/science.335.6073.1163

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The stalked eyes of stomatopods are part of a complex visual system. Known as a mantis shrimp because of a superficial resemblance—but no real relationship—to shrimp, and claws that look and indeed work like the front legs of a praying mantis, these 30-centimeter-long furtive crustaceans live in burrows in reefs, rubble, or sediment. Their compound eyes, which are on stalks, constantly scan back and forth, taking in the scene and building up an image line by line.