A zoologist waiting for the chance to honour rock legends Pink Floyd has hit the jackpot with the pistol shrimp – now known as Synalpheus pinkfloydi.
Dr Sammy de Grave has named the high-volume crustacean after the band because they produce a sound louder than rock concerts. Clever, eh?
So, how exactly does the pistol shrimp make one of the loudest sounds in the ocean?
Well, they have a distinctive pink snapping claw which is used to stun prey with sonic energy. By snapping its enlarged claw shut at rapid speed the shrimp creates a high-pressure cavitation bubble which collapses to produce the noise.
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Pink Floyd fan de Grave, from Oxford University’s Museum of Natural History, 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.”
The sonic blast from the pistol shrimp can reach 210 decibels – far louder than the sound of a gunshot – and is powerful enough to stun or even kill small fish. Yeah, these shrimps are not to be messed with…
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.
The species have even been featured by the Oxford team in fictitious covers for the Pink Floyd albums Animals and The Wall.
What a great day to be a pistol shrimp.