National Geographic : 1999 Jan
Lying on dark, volcanic sand 70 feet down off the north east coast of Bali, I watch a flag-tail goby and a Randall's goby shrimp play out their "odd couple" relationship (below). The shrimp is nearly blind; the goby acts as its "seeing eye" fish. The goby is messy; the shrimp is neat and cleans out the goby's burrow. The shrimp con stantly touches the goby with its antennae, and the goby responds with wiggles that seem to say: Come out, go back, dig more. The shrimp responds by touching its claws to the goby's tail. Nearby, a five-inch-long mantis shrimp (below right) attends to its housecleaning by removing a rock from its burrow. Its darting bulbous eyes are thought to be the most complex in nature, and it strikes its prey with a crus tacean karate chop that can break a pane of glass.