Shrimps are unusually scrappy fighters who have an average size of about 4-8 centimetres. While the small creatures may not appear dangerous but do you know there are some species of shrimps that can snap their claws shut at ultrafast speed? They have the ability to shut the claw at a lightning speed that makes a sound louder than gunshots and even create shockwaves in the water to keep their prey at bay. Biologists were stunned to watch the strong evolution of the claw that from simple pinching gained a boisterous ability. To study the same, a group of scientists keenly studied the anatomy of about 114 different species of shrimp.
The revelation of their research was shared on the YouTube page of Science Magazine. The video claims that scientists found two different types of claw joints that were left undiscovered before. The first one was a basic slip joint that appears like a Swiss Army Knife. Here, a tiny ridge creates pressure when the claw closes, this allows it to snap shut more quickly. It is this basic slip joint that set the evolutionary stage for a further modification that was named, the cocking slip joint.
In this, the ridge cocks the claw to open completely, which allows it to build tremendous muscle tension before the shrimp release it. The scientists created 3D-printed models of the various joints and found that a claw with a cocking slip joint can snap with such force that generates shockwaves in the water. This ability was found in Pistol Shrimps and a dozen other species.
“The claws close so fast that it boils the water around them, creating tiny air bubbles. The force of the water pressure crushing the bubbles generates a shockwave that stuns the shrimp’s prey,” suggests the YouTube video. Watch the clip below:
The video has garnered over 1 lakh views on the video-sharing platform. So, next time be careful when you go toe-to-toe with a pint-sized pistol shrimp.