Pistol shrimp generate flashing bubbles to stun their prey

Date:26 October 2012 Tags:, , , , ,

Pistol shrimp produce a raucous sound when they rapidly snap their specialised claw shut, as a way to stun their prey.  The sound is produced by the bursting of a bubble that appears when the shrimp closes its claw speedily, which causes the water to cavitate.

Furthermore, the researchers from the University of Twente in The Netherlands and the Technical University of Munich in Germany showed that a penetrating flash of light appears when the cavitation bubble pops because of the high temperatures (about 4 700 degrees Celsius) and pressure inside of the bubble.

The research team dubbed this phenomenon ‘shrimpoluminescence’ — the first observation, to their knowledge, of this mode of light production in any animal — because of its apparent similarity to sonoluminescence, Wikipedia define sonoluminescence as the emission of short bursts of light from imploding bubbles in a liquid when excited by sound.

Watch this video to catch the pistol shrimp in action…

The findings were published in the journal Nature.


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