Pistol Shrimp Facts
The pistol shrimp is a type of caridean snapping shrimp that’s part of the Alpheidae family. They have asymmetrical claws and a loud snapping sound. The alpheid name, pistol shrimp, is derived from the fact that these creatures are commonly used in aquariums and as food. The asymmetry of the claws makes them unique and makes them very popular as pets.
The term “pistol shrimp” describes a variety of species of shrimp. They belong to the Alpheidae family and have 1,119 recognized species. All members of the family have a pair of asymmetric claws that produce a loud snapping sound. The pistol shrimp’s enormous snapping claw is about half its length. This makes it one of the loudest creatures on the planet.
The Pistol shrimp has a single, snapping claw on either arm. They can reverse this action several times during their lives. If they lose their claw, they will regenerate a smaller claw. Unlike many other types of aquarium fish, these invertebrates don’t have pincers. Their claw is made up of two distinct parts, a hammer and a fixed portion. When hunting, the hammer part opens and snaps into the fixed part, creating a high-pressure cavitation bubble.
This shrimp plays nice with other creatures. Some form symbiotic relationships with other organisms. They will share their home with a goby fish, which keeps watch for predators and threats. Once the goby detects a threat, the pistol shrimp will scurry back to its protective burrow to eat their prey. This is one of the loudest creatures on earth. So be careful when approaching these in the wild.
This Shrimp is a 1.5- to 2-inch long creature that has a pistol-like feature on its claw. When they feel threatened, they will attack with their claw, which will make the goby flee and kill the pistol shrimp. The tiger pistol shrimp will only eat the goby’s feces. The other species of pistol shrimp will feed off the feces of other sea anemones.
The shrimp is very aggressive and has a unique way of killing prey. It shoots a bubble out of its mouth at 62 miles per hour and reaches temperatures of nearly four thousand degrees Celsius. The cavitation bubble is so large that the resulting explosion is so loud, it can stun even a shark! Then, the tigerfish will attack, and the tiger shrimp will attack again. Its frightened prey will be able to escape.
The Pistol shrimp has an advanced social structure. They form colonies with a single breeding female and a reproductive male. The males live in different castes, based on the number of eggs they have developed. Some of them act as workers in brood care and soldiers in defense of the colony from predators. They have a powerful snapping ability and will use their large claw as a weapon if they feel threatened.
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