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Video: Mantis shrimp strike shot for Sir David Attenborough’s “First Life” series

Since before I even picked up an underwater camera, I have always considered the BBC and Sir David Attenborough to be the very best of the best in wildlife documentaries. So, to be involved in one of their productions would be about as big time as I might hope to get. We didn’t actually get to meet or film the great man, but none-the-less we are thrilled to contribute a small part of David Attenborough’s “First Life” TV series for BBC / Discovery Channel. They used 9 clips from our marine stock footage library, including this chance shot of a mantis shrimp catching a small passing fish. Fish scales scatter and sparkle in my video lights after the mantis shrimp pulls its prey down into its burrow. I filmed this in Indonesia.

Mantis shrimp are marine crustaceans, like crabs and lobsters. This particular species, Lysiosquilla sp., is the “spearer” type of mantis shrimp: its front claws have barbed edges that it uses to spear and snag prey. The other type of mantis shrimp, the “smasher”, has front claws that are more like a club, used to bludgeon prey. Mantis shrimps can strike at the speed of a .22 calibre bullet.


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Cat & Buck
11 years ago

We were watching this on TV just the other night, and when we saw the manta footage we were both stunned into excitement that we knew where that footage had come from!! Congrats!

Cat & Buck
11 years ago
Reply to  Cat & Buck

*Mantis* (not Manta!) silly fingers.

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