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Shrimp named for Pink Floyd: Shine on, you crazy crustacean

The pink-clawed pistol shrimp, an unusual-looking new critter, gets a nifty name as a tribute to rock band Pink Floyd.

It will see you on the dark side of the Pacific.

Arthur Anker

On the dark side of the Pacific coast near Panama, scientists discovered a distinctive type of pistol shrimp with a screamingly loud pink claw. Say hello to Synalpheus pinkfloydi, which now qualifies as the world's most rockin' shrimp thanks to its Pink Floyd-inspired name.

A study on the new species of shrimp appeared online in the journal Zootaxa on Wednesday.

Pistol shrimps are also known as snapping shrimps thanks to their ability to attack with sonic energy. "By closing its enlarged claw at rapid speed, the shrimp creates a high-pressure cavitation bubble, the implosion of which results in one of the loudest sounds in the ocean -- strong enough to stun or even kill a small fish," notes an Oxford University release on the findings.

Sammy De Grave, head of research at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, is one of the study's authors and a hard-core Pink Floyd fan. He describes the British group, famous for albums including "The Wall" and "The Dark Side of the Moon," as his favorite band.

The researchers behind the paper definitely have a sense of humor. In describing the shrimp's known distribution area, they write, "Presently known only from the type locality on the Pacific side of Panama; likely more widespread in the tropical eastern Pacific, but unlikely to occur on the Dark Side of the Moon due to lack of suitable habitat."

Now we just need Pink Floyd to change the title of one of its famous songs to "Several Species of Small Shrimp Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict."

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