A fantastic beast of the ocean is the mantis shrimp. Although this animal is small it still packs quite a punch. The mantis shrimp have front claws that spring forward to kill prey or defend their territories. These claws will move away from their body at 50 miles per hour and accelerates faster than a .22 caliber bullet. These seem like a really cool animal to have in an aquarium but they are actually a hassle for aquariums to keep. They must be kept in a shatterproof glass tank because their claws are strong enough to punch through tough aquarium glass. If an aquarium has the special shatterproof glass they must be kept alone because they will use their claws against any tankmates. Brute strength isn’t the only incredible thing about the mantis shrimp, they have the most complex eyes of any animal. They have 12 photoreceptors to see many different colors, humans only have 3. They can see so many more colors than we can imagine. Because of this and their incredible punching power they are highly popular in scientific studies.
Another weird looking animal is the shoebill stork with its very prehistoric and scary facade. Living in freshwater swamps and dense marshes these 5-feet tall birds will use their impressive beak to hunt catfish, tilapia, and water snakes. When fish is sparse it will eat young crocodiles and monitor lizards by impaling the prey with its hooked beak that crushes it immediately. These large avian beasts are found in Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia. Even though these mysterious birds are similar to many birds like storks, herons, and pelicans they are much older evolutionarily.
Now that you’ve learned about these fantastic beasts come see our animals at Sheep Pasture and maybe discover some of your own on our trails!