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Online exhibits : Special exhibits : Secrets of the Stomatopod

Secrets of the Stomatopod: An Underwater Research Adventure

The better to see you with . . .

Stomatopods are visual hunters and need to be able to see their prey, as well as potential predators. Having their eyes up on stalks makes it easier to survey the scene from the safety of their burrows. Also, since stomatopods often fight one another, their good vision helps them size up the opposition!

Stomatopods have stereo vision with just one eye. Having two independent eyes provides insurance if they lose one eye in a fight or when molting (shedding their “skeleton” as they grow), as happened to the stomatopod at left.

One-eyed stomatopod

The stomatopod above is missing one eye

Stomatopod in burrow

Stomatopod eyes peer out of a burrow