Mantis Shrimp - Deadly Clown Colored Creature
Also known as a stomatopod, the mantis shrimp is a type of crustacean known for its large size (they usually grow to be about a foot, or 30 centimeters long) and impressive hunting and defense mechanisms. With a carapace (the shell-like hard part of its exoskeleton) that doesn't cover its back or front ends completely, the shrimp resembles a small warrior wearing battle armor, and rightfully so, because that is exactly what it is, even though the battle armor is colored like a clown costume.
The common tropical and sub-tropical marine predator, which has been at times called "sea locust", "prawn killer", and "thumb splitter", is feared for its powerful claws. These claws are so powerful that single strikes from one of their "spear" appendages have been observed to crack aquarium glass! In fact, the strike from a mantis shrimp's claw is as fast as a 22 caliber bullet. The shock wave alone has been observed stunning and killing smaller prey.
Mantis shrimp don't really look for trouble though, preferring to hide in burrows and only exit when relocating or hunting. When hunting, they will seek out oysters, crab, small fish, and snails, with the mantis' meals being determined by whether they're a "smasher" (more developed club claw) or a "spearer" (more developed striking claw).
Mantis shrimp also have amazing eyesight, possessing the ability to see polarized light and multi-spectral images. This advanced vision allows them to communicate through bio-luminescence (light) and has helped them develop complex social rituals that include ritual battle, familiarization among specimens, and long term mating that as been seen to last over twenty years. This clowny-deadly creature is truly amazing, but not one you should ever handle on your own, so appreciate them from afar!