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Science. 2000 Sep 22;289(5487):2114-7.

How snapping shrimp snap: through cavitating bubbles.

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Department of Applied Physics and J. M. Burgers Research Center for Fluid Dynamics, University of Twente, Post Office Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, Netherlands.


The snapping shrimp (Alpheus heterochaelis) produces a loud snapping sound by an extremely rapid closure of its snapper claw. One of the effects of the snapping is to stun or kill prey animals. During the rapid snapper claw closure, a high-velocity water jet is emitted from the claw with a speed exceeding cavitation conditions. Hydrophone measurements in conjunction with time-controlled high-speed imaging of the claw closure demonstrate that the sound is emitted at the cavitation bubble collapse and not on claw closure. A model for the bubble dynamics based on a Rayleigh-Plesset-type equation quantitatively accounts for the time dependence of the bubble radius and for the emitted sound.

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