The Pistol Shrimp

Describe the animal:

The Pistol Shrimp has one normal claw, and one claw which is about the half the size of its body. The larger claw stays open until a muscle in it contracts and makes the claw snap, ejecting a pressure bubble at speeds upwards of 60 mph. The snapping sound produced has been measured at 218 decibels, more than enough to rupture a human’s eardrums. The pressure bubble produced by the pistol shrimp has an interior temperature of 5,000 Kelvin-- almost as hot as the surface of the sun.



Information: McArthur, Yvonne. “Pistol Shrimp: The Snapping Shrimp that Packs a Deadly Punch” “http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/biology/news-1-shrimp-you-wouldnt-want-meet-dark-alley” 23 October 2013.


Image: Wallace, Noreen. “A Shrimp is One of the Loudest Animals on the Planet”, Today I Found It.“http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/09/a-shrimp-is-one-of-the-loudest-animals-on-the-planet/” 28 October 2013.



How is it born? How does the mother care for its young?

The pistol shrimp carries its eggs in a brood chamber on the underside of its tail. The eggs hatch and turn into drifting larvae, which then are mature and ready to reproduce within 60 days. The mother pistol shrimp does not do very much for its young. She carries around the eggs, then once hatched, she lets them go as they turn into drifting larvae.


Information: Smith, Darren. “Oceans Animal Facts: Pistol Shrimp”, Indy Zoo. “http://www.indyzoo.com/SiteAssets/pdfs/PistolShrimp.pdf” 23 October 2013.


Image: Wallace, Noreen. “A Shrimp is One of the Loudest Animals on the Planet”, Today I Found It.

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/09/a-shrimp-is-one-of-the-loudest-animals-on-the-planet/” 28 October 2013.




How does it get its food? What does it eat?

The pistol shrimp obtains its food by simply snapping its over-sized claw. The claw shoots out a pressure bubble which kills small fish and other sea creatures on impact. The pistol shrimp then retrieves the creature and drags it back into a burrow underneath a rock. The pistol shrimp eats mainly small fish and brine shrimp.



Information: Smith, Darren. “Oceans Animal Facts: Pistol Shrimp”, Indy Zoo. “http://www.indyzoo.com/SiteAssets/pdfs/PistolShrimp.pdf” 28 October 2013.


Image: Bradley, Jennifer. “Pistol Shrimp”, The Mary Brogan Museum. “http://www.thebrogan.org/shrimp.html” 28 October 2013.




Where does the animal live, and what are some of its habits?

The pistol shrimp can be found near bays and lagoons in tropical waters in the Pacific Ocean, but have been known to be found near on the coast of Great Britain. The shrimp can usually be found in small burrows underneath rocks. The creature has some abnormal habits, such as pairing with a goby, a small fish, for mutual protection. The goby alerts the pistol shrimp of nearby predators, while the pistol shrimp shares food and makes a burrow for goby.



Information: Smith, Darren. “Oceans Animal Facts: Pistol Shrimp”, Indy Zoo. “http://www.indyzoo.com/SiteAssets/pdfs/PistolShrimp.pdf” 28 October 2013.


Image: Bradley, Jennifer. “Pistol Shrimp”, The Mary Brogan Museum. “http://www.thebrogan.org/shrimp.html” 28 October 2013.




Who are its enemies, and how does it defend itself?

The pistol shrimp’s predators are any larger sea creatures than itself. Mainly fish found near coral reefs prey upon the pistol shrimp. It defends itself by using its oversized claw. The powerful snap of the pistol shrimp’s claw can paralyze and even kill large fish.



Information: Bradley, Jennifer. “Pistol Shrimp”, The Mary Brogan Museum. “http://www.thebrogan.org/shrimp.html” 28 October 2013.


Image: Cite: Bradley, Jennifer. “Pistol Shrimp”, The Mary Brogan Museum. “http://www.thebrogan.org/shrimp.html” 28 October 2013.