WTF Fun Fact 12752 – The Loudest Animal

What would be your guess for the loudest animal on earth? A lion? An elephant? What about a shrimp?

Ok, but what about a specific type of pistol shrimp named after the bank Pink Floyd? That sounds a bit more believable,

The loudest animal

You’ve probably never heard a pistol shrimp make a noise unless you spend time near reefs with your head underwater. But the way they catch their prey is pretty interesting. They use bubbles.

By snapping their claws super hard and fast, a pistol shrimp can create a bubble that travels out from their bodies at around 60 mph. That’s enough to stun their prey so they can attack.

But when the bubble pops, it really makes the ocean rock.

Noisy eaters

One specific type of pistol shrimp is known for being a particularly noisy eater (or at least bubble-maker). Synalpheus pinkfloydi is pistol shrimp named after Pink Floyd. Because, hey, why not? We’re pretty sure one of the coolest things about being a scientist is getting to name stuff to your liking.

Anyway, this little shrimp can snap so hard that when it’s bubbles burst the noise can reach up to 210 decibels, according to the Ocean Conservancy (cited below). That’s louder than an actual pistol. Gunshots can reach around 175 decibels.

Clawing their way up the chain of command

The Ocean Conservancy also notes that “The pistol shrimp’s mighty snap comes in handy for more than just lunch. Its powerful claw can deter predators or other competitors looking to take over the shrimp’s burrow. It also makes males more attractive to the ladies—larger claws suggest they are better mates.”

It turns out a good claw is better than a pistol any day!

But it turns out pistol shrimp are also lovers, not just fighters. They work together – even with other species – to help find food and keep their hunting mates safe. So next time you’re hunting in a reef, find a friend with a big claw!

 WTF fun facts

Source: “The Real Power of the Pistol Shrimp” — Ocean Conservancy

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