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Peacock Mantis Shrimp “Chuck Smashty” Arrives at Butterfly Pavilion for its big zoo debut on Saturday!

Peacock Mantis Shrimp “Chuck Smashty” Arrives at Butterfly Pavilion for its big zoo debut on Saturday!

  • This incredible heavy hitter of the invertebrate world steps into the Butterfly Pavilion animal lineup on Aug. 3, when the zoo opens at 9 a.m.
  • Visit Butterfly Pavilion on Saturday and enter to win two tickets to a 2019 Rockies game at Coors Field.
  • First 500 to visit the new animal will receive their very own Chuck Smashty mantis shrimp baseball card.  

Media Note: Photos, video and other editorial material is available by request. Rosie the Tarantula, other invertebrates and scientific experts are available for media appearances and interviews by contacting kstewart@butterflies.org

Westminster, CO – July 31, 2019 – Leading off the Colorado Butterfly Pavilion’s line up this August is a heavy hitter of the invertebrate world, new peacock mantis shrimp Chuck Smashty. Just like his namesake, Colorado Rockies’ own All-Star left fielder Charlie Blackmon - aka Chuck Nazty - this colorful creature has developed a reputation as one of the deadliest hitters in the animal kingdom.

Peacock mantis shrimps are known for dactyl clubs, appendages they use to pummel their prey. These wrecking ball sticks spring from their bodies at 50 mph, accelerating nearly as fast as a .22-caliber bullet. When the dactyl clubs hit their target, they deliver 160 pounds of force, smashing shells like Blackmon smashes baseballs. In fact, if Charlie Blackmon could generate the same acceleration with his bat as a peacock mantis shrimp does with its clubs, his homeruns balls would not only leave Coors field, they would be sent into orbit (if not smashed on impact)!

Because of their impressive strength, Butterfly Pavilion aquarists are trained to prevent injury while looking after mantis shrimp and have taken special measures to keep this one in its own tank, behind shatterproof acrylic

Some other fun facts about peacock mantis shrimp:

  • Mantis shrimp are neither mantis nor shrimp, but a type of crustacean.
  • Mantis shrimp currently have the most complex eyes of any animal. They can see color, polarized light and ultraviolet light.
  • The unique strength and design of the mantis shrimp club has inspired ultra-strong materials for better armor, helmets, cars and planes.
  • The mantis shrimp housing market is rough! Mantis shrimp have to fight with each other to get the best burrow on the reef. They can remember who they’ve beaten in combat and who they’ve lost to, up to a month later!
  • The mantis shrimp’s eyes are so unique they have been used to develop cameras that can detect cancer cells!

There are many more incredible facts zoo guests can learn about the peacock mantis shrimp when it makes its debut on Saturday, August 3rd at Butterfly Pavilion, 6252 West 104th Avenue in Westminster, Colo. Anyone who visits Butterfly in person on Saturday will get a chance to enter and win two tickets to see the original Chuck Nazty and the Colorado Rockies at a remaining 2019 regular season home game. The first 500 guests will receive their very own Chuck Smashty mantis shrimp baseball card. The first 100 guests will also receive an authentic Charlie Blackmon baseball card. Learn more at Butterflies.org.

$2 Admission with DHS SNAP Cards
Butterfly Pavilion is proud to announce the zoo is now part of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) program, the benefits of which include greater access to scientific, arts and cultural facilities.  In partnership with Denver Human Services (DHS), Butterfly Pavilion now offers SNAP card holders $2 (per person) general zoo admission for up to 10 people total when they show their valid SNAP debit card at the welcome desk. The SNAP discount cannot be combined with any other discounts or offers and can only be applied to zoo admission tickets purchased in person at Butterfly Pavilion.

Learn more about Butterfly Pavilion’s permanent exhibits, other promotions and events plus their important education, research and conservation work at www.butterflies.org or by calling 303-469-5441.

Butterfly Pavilion is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at 6252 West 104th Avenue in Westminster, Colo. Please note: Eastbound US 36 is now open between Wadsworth Blvd. – Church Ranch Blvd. Motorists should expect lane shifts and speed reductions in place. Delays may be possible in the area. Please refer to Google Maps for the fastest route to Butterfly Pavilion.

About Butterfly Pavilion:

Butterfly Pavilion is the world’s only stand-alone, Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited invertebrate zoo dedicated to transforming the way people think about the small but mighty animals that are the hidden heroes of the animal kingdom. As the leader in invertebrate knowledge, inspiration and connection, and as a member institution of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District, Butterfly Pavilion works to foster an appreciation of these critical animals by educating the public about the need to protect and care for threatened habitats globally, while conducting research for solutions in invertebrate conservation. Whether it is providing unique, hands-on learning experiences in our exhibits and educational programs, conducting new research that sets the standard for zoos across the country or building innovative solutions for species and habitat conservation in countries around the world, Butterfly Pavilion is leading the way in ensuring invertebrates are protected for the future. Learn more at Butterflies.org.

Butterfly Pavilion Media Contacts:
Kristen Petitt Stewart, kstewart@butterflies.org or 970-389-1561
Russ Pecoraro, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, rpecoraro@butterflies.org or 720-375-9984

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