The Snapping Shrimp

I just completed a Kids Think and Believe Too , coming out next month, about animals helping each other, a symbiotic relationship called mutualism. As I researched the mutualism between a snapping shrimp (sometimes called a pistol shrimp) and a goby fish, I discovered why the snapping shrimp is called by that name.

The snapping shrimp has one very large claw on one of its arms that is larger than half its body. Unlike other shrimp claws, it does not have pincers on the end. Instead, the claw is made of two parts. One part of the claw is drawn back like the hammer of a pistol. When it is let go it snaps into the other claw, making a tremendously powerful wave of bubbles. Not only does this wave of bubbles make a very loud noise, but it also is able to stun (knock out) a larger fish – it even has the capability of breaking a small glass jar!

One use for the powerful snap is hunting. When hunting, the shrimp will lie at the entrance of a tunnel with its long antennae sticking out. If it feels movement, it eases out of the hole, and with a powerful snap stuns a fish. The shrimp then pulls it into the burrow to eat.

It is truly amazing to see the multitudes of designs God has planned for the provision of His creatures.

Lanny Johnson

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