Friday, November 14, 2008

Noisy Shrimp

I told the tale, earlier this year, about my dad's time as a radioman on submarines and what he said shrimp sound like. Now it appears that Great Britain is learning about shrimp sounds too.

The Daily Mail (UK) reported yesterday about pistol shrimp in British waters.

Pistol shrimps - which stun their prey by snapping their claws together to create a deafening 'crack' - normally live in the sub-tropics.

Despite being less than an inch long, the creatures can emit an astonishing 218 decibels - louder than a gunshot.

The sound stuns small fish and crabs, allowing the shrimp to move in for the kill.
The creatures, also known as snapping shrimps, are native to the warmer waters of the Mediterranean and have only been found swimming off the coast of Britain a handful of times this century.

A pair were discovered last week near the mouth of the Helford River in Cornwall by crab fisherman Tim Bailey, 56.

They were brought to the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay, where staff were forced to separate them to stop them stunning each other.

Much like we separate members of Congress by putting an aisle between them.

Douglas Herdson, the information officer at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, said that the creatures are so loud that they can be heard by sailors.

'I have heard of yachtsmen being moored in a bay and not being able to sleep because of the noise these shrimps make,' he said.

Looks like my dad knew exactly what he was talking about.

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