Dr. Carla Hurt, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, traveled to Curacao to assist National Geographic and Disney Plus, in obtaining footage of the Alpheus armatus (pistol shrimp) for a documentary on underdogs of the biological world.
Dr. Hurt and her collaborator from Seattle University, Kristin Hultgren, worked on location in Curacao with the film team Wildstar Films (United Kingdom) in January to film the pistol shrimp underwater and in an aquarium. The pistol shrimp received its common name from the loud snapping noise they make with their large claw. Alpheus armatus live in curly cue sea anemones and protect their anemone home from predators, such as fireworms. This trip was funded in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
The film group is also interested in generating a three-dimensional image of the claw to look at the snapping mechanism. Dr. Hurt and her team brought back claw samples to scan for the three-dimensional imaging and are hoping to work with the IMaker space on Tennessee Tech’s campus to obtain these scans.
Look for updates as the documentary is completed!