Pistol Shrimp and the Goby Fish
While we are talking about the animals of the sea and how they help each other, let us get to know about a famous partnership.
This is a Goby Fish. What do you think it is doing at the opening of the hole?
The photographs above show you that it is something the Goby Fish does all the time.
What is it doing at the gate of the hole?
It is guarding the burrow / hole of his friend Pistol Shrimp, who is digging within the burrow
and finding his food there!
Pistol Shrimps are almost blind . While digging, he often needs to come out and pile the sand outside. What if there is a prey outside, waiting for him to come out?
That is where he gets help from the little Goby. Let us see in the next photograph how .
You can see the brown Pistol Shrimp at work with its claws. See how he is holding on to the Yellow Goby who is guarding him while he works.
Another photograph below shows the same thing.
Pistol Fish has attached his antennae to the Goby.
How does this help the blind Pistol Shrimp ?
The shrimp keeps contact with the Goby’s tail or its fin all the time with the help of his antennae. If a big predator fish comes near, the Goby moves its tail a few times. Through the antennae the Pistol Shrimp is also jerked. He gets alert and immediately goes deep inside the burrow. If the predator fish comes very very close, the Goby rapidly turns back and dashes into the hole!
The Pistol Fish uses the Goby as an eye!
The small Goby eats fish even tinier than itself outside of the hole and keeps in touch with other Goby fish outside, who may be guarding the burrow of their own friend.
During the night, the Goby also comes into the burrow. Pistol Shrimp closes the entrance with sand and both friends spend the night together. Next morning, the Shrimp builds the gate of the burrow again and then only starts looking for his food inside the burrow.
The Goby fish is the watchman and the Pistol Shrimp is the house keeper of this unique family!
The female Goby even hides her eggs in the Pistol Shrimp’s burrow.
Pistol Shrimp even cleans the Goby’s fins of worms and parasites with the help of his claws!
The picture below shows them once more in their unique friendship.
Talking of Pistol Shrimps,
Why is a Pistol Shrimp called so? From where does it get the word “Pistol” in his name?
Let us find out.