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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Underwater noise caused by snapping shrimp

  • Author(s): University of California, Division of War Research at the U.S. Navy Electronics Laboratory
  • et al.

Crangon (Alpheus) and Synalpheus are the two principal genera of noise-producing shrimp. These animals (not to be confused with commercial shrimp, which are noiseless) are about 3/4 inch to 1-1/2 inches long. They have one enlarged claw which produces a vigorous snap when closed. Over a large colony there is a continuous succession of snaps which causes an intense crackling noise resembling the burning of dry twigs. With increasing distance from the shrimp bed, the crackle merges into a sizzle or a hiss.

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