Rock'n'roll shrimp named after Pink Floyd because of its deafening vocal ability

Telegraph Reporters
An artists impression of Another Shrimp in the Wall featuring Synalpheus pinkfloydi, the Oxford University Museum of Natural History building, and other Pink Floyd references - PA

A shrimp that produces a sound louder than a rock concert has been named after the band Pink Floyd by a rock fan zoologist.

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

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. 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."

Credit: PA

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

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 temperatures of 4,400C, which is nearly as hot as the surface of the sun.

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

Artists impression of the cover of Pink Floyd's 1977 album Animals, with the Synalpheus pinkfloydi psitol shirmp adorning the cover rather than the famous dirigible pig Credit: PA

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. 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.

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

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

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