Recently discovered crab seeds in Australia make up huge hats and coats made from live sponges, and the crustaceans look like wonderfully squeezed plush toys.
(But don’t be fooled — there’s a tough exoskeleton under all the hairy fluff!)
The family first found the crab. La Marc Dromia BeagleWhen launched on a beach near the Danish city of Western Australia. They sent the specimens to Andrew Hosie, curator of the crustacean and worm collection at the Western Australian Museum in Perth. Andrew Hosey recognized the animal as a kind of sponge, albeit “quite rare”.
“Extremely fluffy was a gift for us,” Hosie emailed Live Science. “Sponge crabs are often hairy, but they’re more like felt or velvet than this completely hairy coat.”
Members of the Sponge Crab Family (Crab Family) use their sharp front claws to collect sponges and sea squirts (filter feeders such as sponges) and use special hind legs to hold these trimmings overhead. Over time, these trimmings accumulate to form a kind of snug cap on top of the crab, preventing animals from being seen in predatory fish and other crabs. octopus It may eat it. Sponges are also known to produce harmful chemicals, which are likely to make crabs an unattractive snack for predators, Horsey said.
Upon receiving the sponge-covered specimen, Hosie contacted retired marine biologist and former associate professor Colin McLay, who has been studying sponge crabs for decades at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand. McRae confirmed that the crab is a previously unknown species.
Next, the team compared the crustaceans with the other members La Marc Dromia A genus in the collection of the Western Australian Museum.By doing so, they discovered four more L. Beagle Specimens collected in various parts of the coast between 1925 and 1983, but not yet described or flagged as the same species.Together, these specimens L. Beagle According to Hosey, it can be found in the shallow tidal waters between Hope Toon and Cape Naturaliste on the south coast of Western Australia.
The name of the fluffy crab seed commemorates the HMS Beagle, the ship that carried the British naturalist Charles Darwin to Albany, Australia, during his second expedition in 1836. “This voyage is believed to have had a major impact on Darwin, and Darwin is on the road to his formulation. Theory of natural selection“Horthy said.
He added that the name “Beagle” is also suitable for newly discovered crab seeds because the animal’s fluffy coat has the same reddish brown color as the beagle’s face and shoulder markings.
Researchers described the new crab seeds on April 28 in the journal Zootaxa (Opens in a new tab)..
Originally published on Live Science.
Can you find the crab in this photo? (Hint: It’s under the fuzz.)
Source link Can you find the crab in this photo? (Hint: It’s under the fuzz.)