libutron
libutron:

Halloween Crabs (Gecarcinus quadratus): Ecosystem Engineers
The so called Halloween Crab, Gecarcinus quadratus (Decapoda - Gecarcinidae) is a neotropical land crab with a distinctive patterning; the upper carapace seems completely black (actually dark brown when examined closely), the body and limbs are a bright orange-red, two bright yellow to white triangular spots decorate the front of the upper carapace, and the claws are purple.
The species is distributed along Pacific shorelines from Mexico to Peru. Some authors have treated Gecarcinus quadratus as a subspecies of Gecarcinus lateralis (the Atlantic species), or as synonym with Gecarcinus lateralis, while others have maintained Gecarcinus quadratus as a valid species.  
Whatever, these crabs play an important ecological role on its tropical environment and is regarded as an engineering species that controls nutrient cycling in tropical forests. Gecarcinus quadratus and other similar species of land crabs process large quantities of leaf litter, thereby influencing nutrient cycling. They alter the structure of plant communities through selective consumption of seeds and seedlings, and their burrows provide habitat for obligatory and facultative arthropod symbionts. Based on the direct and indirect influences of the land crabs on resource availability, as well as their modification of habitat, they can be considered allogenic ecosystem engineers. 
References: [1] - [2] - [3]
Photo credit: ©Eduardo Mena | Locality: Bejuco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica (2010)

HUZZAH MOTHERFUCKERS!!!

libutron:

Halloween Crabs (Gecarcinus quadratus): Ecosystem Engineers

The so called Halloween Crab, Gecarcinus quadratus (Decapoda - Gecarcinidae) is a neotropical land crab with a distinctive patterning; the upper carapace seems completely black (actually dark brown when examined closely), the body and limbs are a bright orange-red, two bright yellow to white triangular spots decorate the front of the upper carapace, and the claws are purple.

The species is distributed along Pacific shorelines from Mexico to Peru. Some authors have treated Gecarcinus quadratus as a subspecies of Gecarcinus lateralis (the Atlantic species), or as synonym with Gecarcinus lateralis, while others have maintained Gecarcinus quadratus as a valid species.  

Whatever, these crabs play an important ecological role on its tropical environment and is regarded as an engineering species that controls nutrient cycling in tropical forests. Gecarcinus quadratus and other similar species of land crabs process large quantities of leaf litter, thereby influencing nutrient cycling. They alter the structure of plant communities through selective consumption of seeds and seedlings, and their burrows provide habitat for obligatory and facultative arthropod symbionts. Based on the direct and indirect influences of the land crabs on resource availability, as well as their modification of habitat, they can be considered allogenic ecosystem engineers. 

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Eduardo Mena | Locality: Bejuco, Guanacaste, Costa Rica (2010)

HUZZAH MOTHERFUCKERS!!!

cool-critters

cool-critters:

Candy crab (Hoplophrys oatesi)

The candy crab is a very colourful crab that grows from 1.5 to 2 cm. It lives on various species of soft coral in the Dendronephthya genus.

It camouflages itself by mimicing the colours of the polyps among which it hides. It adds further camouflage by attaching polyps to its carapace. Colours vary depending on the colour of the coral, and may be white, pink, yellow or red. This crab is widespread in the Indo-Pacific and it feeds on plankton.

photo credits: digimuse, Brian Maye, divemecressi

Crayfish Turn Blood Cells into Brain Cells
by Christie Lepisto
… Scientists (have been) studying crayfish, which continuously regenerate neurons in their sensitive smelling organs and exposed eyestalks. Studying the process, known as neurogenesis, in crayfish could help us understand how humans maintain their brain health, and where the process goes wrong.
Scientists found that crayfish have a natural circuit for harboring blood cells similar to our white blood cells in a ‘nursery’ where they are turned into neurons. The cells are converted to have properties of stem cells, which allows them to be reprogrammed to become neurons.
What surprised scientists in this discovery is the link between the immune system and the regeneration of neurons. The blood cells converted to neurons in crayfish, called hemocytes, are produced by the immune system, in a process that parallels the production of white blood cells that are the front-line troops of the human immune system. In the words of co-auther Dr. Irene Söderhäll, of Uppsala University in Sweden..
(read more: TreeHugger)
photograph by Coniferconifer/Flickr

Crayfish Turn Blood Cells into Brain Cells

by Christie Lepisto

… Scientists (have been) studying crayfish, which continuously regenerate neurons in their sensitive smelling organs and exposed eyestalks. Studying the process, known as neurogenesis, in crayfish could help us understand how humans maintain their brain health, and where the process goes wrong.

Scientists found that crayfish have a natural circuit for harboring blood cells similar to our white blood cells in a ‘nursery’ where they are turned into neurons. The cells are converted to have properties of stem cells, which allows them to be reprogrammed to become neurons.

What surprised scientists in this discovery is the link between the immune system and the regeneration of neurons. The blood cells converted to neurons in crayfish, called hemocytes, are produced by the immune system, in a process that parallels the production of white blood cells that are the front-line troops of the human immune system. In the words of co-auther Dr. Irene Söderhäll, of Uppsala University in Sweden..

(read more: TreeHugger)

photograph by Coniferconifer/Flickr

First Video of Living and Enormous Deep Sea Crustacean

Well, enormous for an Amphipod…

by Sandrine Ceurstemont

Living in one of the Earth’s deepest ocean trenches, the world’s largest species of amphipod has so far managed to avoid the videos of the paparazzi. But during an expedition to the Kermadec trench off the coast of New Zealand in April, Alan Jamieson from the University of Aberdeen, UK, and his colleagues filmed a living Alicella gigantean for the first time, more than 7 kilometres below the ocean surface.

The video captures a feeding frenzy of deep-sea snailfish, Notoliparis kermadecensis sociable fish that are well-adapted to the extreme pressure, total darkness and cold temperatures at such depths.

Cruising along the left-hand side of the video, the white shrimp-like creature is the newly spotted Alicella gigantea. It is between 20 and 25 centimetres long, 10 times larger than similar amphipods discovered in other deep-sea locations – although Jamieson previously snapped, but did not video, an even bigger one – a 34-centimetre giant…

(read more: New Scientist)

NOAA:  Close encounters of the crabby kind! 
Squat lobster, seen in 2011 during the Okeanos Explorer Galápagos Rift Expedition.  In 1977, scientists discovered deep-sea hydrothermal vents and associated organisms on the Galápagos Rift, profoundly changing our view of the deep sea and revolutionizing the biological and Earth sciences. Our 2011 expedition provided scientists, engineers, and the public with an opportunity to explore unseen areas and revisit the rift sites that changed our view of life on Earth. Here’s a summary of all that was accomplished: 
NOAA Ocean Explorer

NOAA:  Close encounters of the crabby kind!

Squat lobster, seen in 2011 during the Okeanos Explorer Galápagos Rift Expedition.

In 1977, scientists discovered deep-sea hydrothermal vents and associated organisms on the Galápagos Rift, profoundly changing our view of the deep sea and revolutionizing the biological and Earth sciences. Our 2011 expedition provided scientists, engineers, and the public with an opportunity to explore unseen areas and revisit the rift sites that changed our view of life on Earth.

Here’s a summary of all that was accomplished:

NOAA Ocean Explorer

Asian tiger shrimp (Peneaus monodon)
Native to Indo-Pacific, Asian, and Australian waters, Asian tiger shrimp are now found along the Atlantic Bight and Gulf coasts of the United States. Known for their distinctive black stripes, this invasive species has a voracious appetite, feeding on native shrimp, bivalves, crustaceans, and fish. 
Scientists are exploring what effect they might have on native ecosystems: 
READ MORE. 
photo: David Knott, Southeastern Regional Taxonomic Center

Asian tiger shrimp (Peneaus monodon)

Native to Indo-Pacific, Asian, and Australian waters, Asian tiger shrimp are now found along the Atlantic Bight and Gulf coasts of the United States. Known for their distinctive black stripes, this invasive species has a voracious appetite, feeding on native shrimp, bivalves, crustaceans, and fish.

Scientists are exploring what effect they might have on native ecosystems:

READ MORE.

photo: David Knott, Southeastern Regional Taxonomic Center

dendroica

astronomy-to-zoology:

Calappa calappa

Sometimes known as the Smooth Crab or Red-spotted Box Crab Calappa calappa is a species of Calappid crab which boasts a large Indo-Pacific distribution. C. calappa is noted for its dome like appearance which it shares with other calappid crabs. Calappa calappa is chiefly nocturnal and will forage at night for clams and other molluscs which are broken open with its large chelae. 

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Crustacea-Malacostraca-Decapoda-Brachyura-Calappidae-Calappa-C. calappa

Images: B kimmel and Hectonichus

astronomy-to-zoology

astronomy-to-zoology:

Red Reef Crab (Atergatis subdentatus)

Also known as the dark-finger coral crab or eyed coral crab, the red reef crab is a species of “mud crab” (Xanthidae) which occurs around the waters of Japan and surrounding areas. True to their names red reef crabs typically inhabit coral reefs and rocky beaches where it feeds on a variety of sessile and slow invertebrates. 

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Crustacea-Malacostraca-Decapoda-Brachyura-Xanthidae-Atergatis-A. subdentatus

Images: Dr. Dwayne Meadows and Palmfly

mucholderthen

biovisual:

Giant Hermit Crab (Petrochirus diogenes)
Inhabiting an ~300 mm [~12 inch] Florida Horse Conch (Triplofusus giganteus) shell

SOURCE:  EOLspecies // Photographer: Joel Wooster @ www.jaxshells.org
Lower image, also by 
Joel Wooster, taken at the Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Eukarya >  Animalia >  Arthropoda >  Crustacea >  Malacostraca > 
     Decapoda >  Petrochirus diogenes (Linnaeus, 1758)

Strawberry Hermit Crab Beach Frenzy! Howland Island National Wildlife Refuge, in the South Pacific, is home to large numbers of the strawberry hermit crab (Coenobita perlatus). This large biomass of land crabs plays a dominant role in terrestrial food webs on the island where they consume a wide variety of organic matter. The Refuge is a part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. Learn more about how the monument and refuge protect fish and wildlife: Howland Island NWRPhoto credit: C. Eggleston

Strawberry Hermit Crab Beach Frenzy!

Howland Island National Wildlife Refuge, in the South Pacific, is home to large numbers of the strawberry hermit crab (Coenobita perlatus). This large biomass of land crabs plays a dominant role in terrestrial food webs on the island where they consume a wide variety of organic matter.

The Refuge is a part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. Learn more about how the monument and refuge protect fish and wildlife: Howland Island NWR

Photo credit: C. Eggleston

The Arctic shipping boom - a bonanza for invasive exotic species
by Natasha Geiling
As the Arctic warms and its ice melts, growing numbers freight ships are reaping big savings from the ‘Arctic short cut’. But this is creating a huge risk of invasive species spreading in ballast water and on hulls - disrupting both Arctic and temperate ecosystems.
… cargo isn’t the only thing that they’re (ships) transporting: some marine biologists worry that ships carting cargo through the Arctic’s newly opened waterways are introducing invasive species to the area - and bringing invasive species to some of America’s most important ports…
(read more: The Ecologist)
photo: Arctic Red king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus, is causing ecological havoc as it devours its way down Norway’s coast. It can reach a leg-span of 1.8m. Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 

The Arctic shipping boom - a bonanza for invasive exotic species

by Natasha Geiling

As the Arctic warms and its ice melts, growing numbers freight ships are reaping big savings from the ‘Arctic short cut’. But this is creating a huge risk of invasive species spreading in ballast water and on hulls - disrupting both Arctic and temperate ecosystems.

… cargo isn’t the only thing that they’re (ships) transporting: some marine biologists worry that ships carting cargo through the Arctic’s newly opened waterways are introducing invasive species to the area - and bringing invasive species to some of America’s most important ports…

(read more: The Ecologist)

photo: Arctic Red king crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus, is causing ecological havoc as it devours its way down Norway’s coast. It can reach a leg-span of 1.8m. Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration