Friday, July 13, 2012

Pistol Shrimp

Latin Name: Alpheus glaber

The Pistol Shrimp is a rather interesting creature. Ranging from half an inch to two inches long, they each have one or sometimes two oversized claws. What is fasinating about this shrimp is that when it snaps its huge claw shut, it forces out a powerful jet of bubbles that travels at an incredible rate of 60mph, and when these bubbles implode, they release a bright flash of light. Not only that, immense heat is released upon impact, and the temperature inside the bubbles reach over 5,000 degrees Kelvin, momentarily reaching the temperature of the sun. With this deadly attack, the Pistol Shrimp can easily stun prey like small fish, crabs, and other shrimps. These shrimps are also known as one of the loudest creatures on Earth; Its claw's snapping sound can reach up to 218 decibels; a human eardrum ruptures only at 150. The Pistol Shrimp also has a symbiotic relationship with species of the Goby fish. Since the Pistol Shrimp has poor vision, a Goby fish will warn it if danger is approaching by suddenly breaking contact from their antennae. In return, the shrimp builds a burrow for the Goby fish to live in. So far, Scientists have discovered over 500 species of Pistol Shrimps.

Alpheus glaber

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