-By Rosa Says
If it wasn't so funny that the little red crab Sebastion from Disney's The Little Mermaid was so helpless in body yet so willful in spirit, I am sure Disney would have made him a pistol shrimp. These little shrimps, with tiny bodies which are in such disproportion to the giant claws waiting cocked and ready to blow some other fish out of the water, are hysterical.
The snapping shrimp on average is about 1 or 2 inches (3–5 cm) long. What makes them so distinctive are their "guns," the claw, which sprouts from either one of its arms, and which grows larger than half the shrimp's body as it matures.
Unlike most other shrimps though, the Alpheid Shrimp does not have an atypical pincer. Rather, it has a pistol-like shape. The shrimp's claw has a top joint, sometimes referred to as the "pestle,"
which can be moved into a right-angled position, kind of like it's cocking a
gun. When released, it snaps into the other part of the claw, emitting a
powerful wave of bubbles capable of stunning larger fish which it then
drags off into the dark. Also, regular shrimps use their pincers, or chela, to grasp food, kind of like a person uses chopsticks to grab sushi and although regular shrimps might use their claws for fighting (as well as grooming themselves) but they don't stand a chance against the Pistol Shrimp's mighty power.
If you would compare this
fish to a personality stereotype, pistol shrimps are the Italian
Mafia. They're tiny but loud. And
dangerous. Don't look at them funny. They'll snap. Just think: even
the little Pistol shrimp was blessed by G-d to protect itself in a miraculous way
from predators. Here's
a fun fact, when the bubbles explode from the shrimp's claw, they
temporarily give off heat close to the sun's temperature.