Relate these two things together: (a) it is one of the smallest creatures on planet and (b) it is also one of the loudest to live on planet Earth! Though the two facts don’t seem to relate properly, it is actually the magic of Mother Nature who has given us countless reasons to stay amazed every single day. We are speaking of the incredible Pistol Shrimp that lurks in the ocean waters and displays one of the weirdest physical appearances and equally weird hunting technique. Let us today travel the depths of oceans to learn 20 incredibly interesting Pistol Shrimp facts. We guarantee – you will love it and if you don’t then, you simply don’t! Ha Ha!
Interesting Pistol Shrimp Facts: 1-10
1. The Pistol Shrimp is also goes by two more names – Snapping Shrimp or Alpheid Shrimp.
2. There are around 600 different species of these creatures live on Earth. These species are grouped in 38+ genera with Synalpheus and Alpheus being the two most popular genera. The Synalpheus genus has around 100 species and Alpheus genus has over 250 species.
3. Snapping Shrimp or Pistol Shrimp are commonly found in oyster reefs, submerged seagrass flats and coral reefs and are known for digging burrows.
4. Most of the genera of Pistol Shrimp are found in temperate and tropical marine and coastal waters. Potamalpheops is the only genus found in freshwater caves while Betaeus is found in cold seas.
5. Pistol Shrimps are very small in size and they grow no more than 3-5 cm in length but they are the major source of noise in ocean.
6. When it comes to the title of loudest sea/ocean creature, this miniscule creature enters in competition with beluga whale and sperm whale.
7. When Pistol Shrimps are together in a colony, they can easily interfere with underwater communication and sonar.
8. The physical appearance of Pistol Shrimp is pretty weird. With a length of no more than 1-2 inches, this shrimp possesses a large claw which is remarkably disproportionate compared to its body. There is no specific arm on which the claw may appear. It can be found either on the left arm or the right arm.
9. This disproportionately large claw is devoid of typical pincers at end as found in usual shrimps. Instead of the pincers, the claw has two parts – a feature akin to that of a pistol. One of the two parts is known as the ‘hammer’ which, using a joint, moves 90 degrees backward from the other part.
10. While hunting, Pistol Shrimp opens the hammer part and then releases it, allowing it to snap into the other part. This release is extraordinarily fast and results in an enormously powerful low-pressure cavitation bubble.