Stress physiology and weapon integrity of intertidal mantis shrimp under future ocean conditions

Calcified marine organisms typically experience increased oxidative stress and changes in mineralization in response to ocean acidification and warming conditions. These effects could hinder the potency of animal weapons, such as the mantis shrimp’s raptorial appendage. The mechanical properties of this calcified weapon enable extremely powerful punches to be delivered to prey and aggressors. We examined oxidative stress and exoskeleton structure, mineral content, and mechanical properties of the raptorial appendage and the carapace under long-term ocean acidification and warming conditions. The predatory appendage had significantly higher % Mg under ocean acidification conditions, while oxidative stress levels as well as the % Ca and mechanical properties of the appendage remained unchanged. Thus, mantis shrimp tolerate expanded ranges of pH and temperature without experiencing oxidative stress or functional changes to their weapons. Our findings suggest that these powerful predators will not be hindered under future ocean conditions.

deVries M. S., Webb S. J., Tu J., Cory E., Morgan V., Sah R. L., Deheyn D. D. & Taylor J. R. A., 2016. Stress physiology and weapon integrity of intertidal mantis shrimp under future ocean conditions. Scientific Reports 6:38637. Article.

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