A new species of crustacean has been discovered in the underwater mountains off the northwest coast of Spain, scientists recently announced. The squat lobster is orange and a little over 2 in (5 cm) long. Squat lobsters are more closely related to porcelain and hermit crabs than true lobsters.
It was discovered at a depth of 4,626 feet (1,410 meters) in August 2011 by the INDEMARES research group and lives among deep corals and sea fans, according to a study published in the March issue of the journal Zootaxa.
The shy crustaceans are abundant in submarine mountains in areas that haven’t been heavily fished; the corals and sea fans amid which they live tend to disappear in trawling zones, researchers said in a statement.
Given the scientific name Uroptychus cartesi, the species’ closest relative can be found in the Caribbean Sea, and both species likely have a shared ancestor “who invaded the Atlantic from the Pacific and Indian Ocean a few million years ago,” said study co-author Enrique Macpherson, a researcher at Spain’s Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes…