Thursday, March 10, 2011

This 'n That Thursdays: New Species of Strawberry Crab


About a year ago this fascinating crustacean was discovered off the coast of Taiwan by a scientist from National Taiwan Ocean University.  Although similar to the strawberry crab (Neoliomera pubescens) native to waters near Hawaii, Polynesia, and Mauritius, the Taiwanese find has a broader, clam-shaped body which leads scientists to suspect that it is a new species of the same genus.  There is some concern that pollution from cargo ships in the wildlife-rich area could endanger this species as well as many others in the habitat where the crab was discovered.  The two female specimens found died shortly after capture, possibly due to contamination from a recent shipwreck nearby.  Hopefully the local marine fauna, including this newly-found decapod, can survive in spite of potential threats.

   

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