Mantis shrimp punch down, pick on smaller rivals to steal their homes

A perfect home is hard to find, and some mantis shrimp called “smashers” for their clublike arm work hard to locate one that’s just right. If the home already has an owner, the invader will fight fiercely to evict it. 

To find out how aggressively this tiny crustacean will fight to throw out a previous owner of a coral burrow, researchers created “arenas” in laboratory aquariums and staged battles between mantis shrimp, over ownership of a desirable mock burrow. 

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