New species of shrimp named after Pink Floyd because of how loud it is

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

A new species of shrimp has been given the honour of being named after legendary band Pink Floyd because of it produces a sound louder than rock concerts.

The pistol shrimp, Synalpheus pinkfloydi, has a distinctive pink snapping claw which it uses to stun prey with sonic energy.

And like any self-respecting rock band, pistol shrimps have the ability to generate a huge amount of volume.

Synalpheus pinkfloydi features in a mock up of Another Shrimp in the Wall (PA)

By snapping its enlarged claw shut at rapid speed the shrimp creates a high-pressure cavitation bubble which collapses to produce one of the loudest sounds in the ocean.

The sonic blast can reach 210 decibels – far louder than the sound of a gunshot – and is powerful enough to stun or even kill small fish.

For a split-second, the imploding bubble also generates staggering temperatures of 4,400C – nearly as hot as the surface of the sun.

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Some species of pistol shrimp use their sonic weapon to drill burrows into solid basalt rock.

Zoologist and Pink Floyd fan Dr Sammy de Grave, from Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History, had been waiting for the chance to honour the prog rock legends by giving their name to a new species.

He said: “I have been listening to Floyd since The Wall was released in 1979, when I was 14 years old.

The shrimp also stars on a version of Pink Floyd’s 1977 album Animals (PA)

“I’ve seen them play live several times since, including the Hyde Park reunion gig for Live8 in 2005.

“The description of this new species of pistol shrimp was the perfect opportunity to finally give a nod to my favourite band.”

The Oxford team featured the shrimp in fictitious covers for the Pink Floyd albums Animals and The Wall.

In Animals, the crustacean takes the place of a dirigible pink pig floating above London’s Battersea power station.

Pistol shrimps have the ability to generate a huge amount of volume (PA)

The Wall cover shows S. pinkfloydi superimposed over the Museum of Natural History in the style of original artwork from the album.

Synalpheus pinkfloydi was discovered on the Pacific coast of Panama and is closely related to a western Atlantic sister species, S. antillensis, identified in 1909.

A description of the pink-clawed shrimp appears in the journal Zootaxa.

Last year biologists named a new species of damselfly after Pink Floyd’s 1969 double LP Ummagumma.

Top pic: PA