Region: Coconut crabs live in the Indian Ocean and the central Pacific Ocean, with a distribution that closely matches that of the coconut palm.
Risk of Extinction: No info.
More Info: It is the largest land-living arthropod in the world, and is probably at the upper size limit for terrestrial animals with exoskeletons in recent Earth atmosphere, with a weight of up to 4.1 kg (9.0 lb). It can grow to up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in length from leg to leg.
(Nature category) - A hermit crab (Pagurus anachoretus) on a calcareous tube of a feather duster worm (Sabella spallanzani), a marine annelid worm. It is easier for the crab to collect its food here, which is transported by the current. It’s very difficult to approach the worm without it closing quickly.
The Hay’s Spring Amphipod, Stygobromus hayi, is a rare crustacean endemic to the District of Columbia in the United States. It is known to occur only in five springs along a three-mile stretch of Rock Creek, a tributary of the Potomac River.
This species is threatened by the degradation of its urban habitat. Most recently, it has become the center of attention in a debate about the environmental impacts of a planned transitway across Rock Creek for a local light-rail project: http://wapo.st/1b96i2e
The history of Peytoia is somewhat confused and entangled with that of Laggania and Anomalocaris: all three were initially identified as isolated body parts and only later discovered to belong to a single type of animal. This was due in part due to their makeup of a mixture of mineralized and unmineralized body parts; the mouth and feeding appendage was considerably harder and more easily fossilized than the delicate body.
The first was a detached ‘arm’, described by Joseph Frederick Whiteaves in 1892 as a crustacean-like creature due to its resemblance to the tail of a lobster or shrimp. The first fossilized mouth was discovered by Charles Doolittle Walcott, who mistook it for a jellyfish and placed it in the genus Peytoia. The body was discovered separately and classified as a sponge in the genus Laggania; the mouth was found with the body, but was interpreted by its discoverer Simon Conway Morris as an unrelated Peytoia that had through happenstance settled and been preserved with the “Laggania”.
Later, while clearing what he thought was an unrelated specimen, Harry B. Whittington removed a layer of covering stone to discover the unequivocally connected arm thought to be a shrimp tail and mouth thought to be a jellyfish. Whittington linked the two species, but it took several more years for researchers to realize that the continuously juxtaposed Peytoia, Laggania and feeding appendage actually represented a single, enormous creature. According to International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature rules, the oldest name takes priority, which in this case would be Peytoia.
New Cave Dwelling Skeleton Shrimp Discovered in California
by Becky Oskin
A translucent underwater cave dweller that looks like a skeleton and travels like an inchworm is the newest member of California’s array of marine life.
Scientists found a new species of skeleton shrimp — a group of tiny crustaceans that are actually caprellid amphipods, not shrimp — in vials collected from a small cave offshore of Southern California’s Catalina Island. The two vials, one containing a male and one containing a female, were housed in the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.
Lead study author José Manuel Guerra-García, a caprellid expert at the University of Seville in Spain, realized the “shrimp” were a never-before-recognized species during a 2010 visit to the museum. Guerra-García compared the ghostlike creatures with other species of the genus, Liropus, and confirmed other scientists had never described the tiny crustaceans…
Kyra Schlining sent another update from the Western Flyer deep sea submersible vehicle:
Aliens in the deep?? You don’t have to travel to outer space to find creatures beyond your wildest imagination. Here is a small sampling of some of the weird and wonderful animals we saw on our dive down to ~2600 m today. #LogFromTheSea
Also known as the big sluice crab or the Shanghai hairy crab, the Chinese mitten crab is a species of varunid crab that is native to the coastal estuaries of eastern Asia, ranging from Korea to the Fujian province of China. It has also been introduced to Europe and North America and is considered and invasive species.Like other crabs E. sinensis feeds on a wide variety of things ranging from plants, various invertebrates, fish and detritus.
E. sinensis spends most of its life in fresh water, but return to tidal estuaries to mate. After mating they will return to brackish water to hatch their eggs. After development the juvenile crabs will move upstream, completing the life cycle.
Some species of pistol shrimps and of Goby fishes share a close symbiotic relationship, living together in the same burrow
The shrimp builds and maintains the burrow, which is inhabited by both the fish and the shrimp. In return for the home, the goby keeps watch for predators, and alerts the shrimp to retreat inside the burrow through several tail flicks should danger be present. This benefits the shrimp as it has poor eyesight.
When searching for food away from the burrow, the shrimp maintains contact with the goby using its antennae. The goby guides the shrimp and warns it should any predators approach.
This type of symbiotic relationship, where both participants gain benefit, is known as mutualism.
Also known as Debelius’s Dwarf Reef Lobster, E. debelius is a species of reef lobster (not a true lobster but related) that occurs throughout the Pacific. E. debelius inhabits rocky/coral reefs and is mainly active at night.
Due to its bright coloration Enoplometopus debelius is very popular in the aquarium trade. It is currently unknown if the trade has any significant effects on its population.
Meet Blinky. This tiny freshwater crab has three eyes, just like its mutant fish namesake from The Simpsons. But unlike the fictional Blinky, whose deformity is blamed on nuclear waste, this crab may actually be a pair of conjoined twins, one of which is nothing but part of the head.
Gerhard Scholtz of the Humboldt University of Berlin in Germany found the Amarinus lacustris crab in the Hoteo river on New Zealand’s North Island in 2007. Instead of the usual two compound eyes, it has three. It also has a peculiar structure on its back, rather like an antenna. No animal has been seen with this particular pattern of deformities before.
When Scholtz and colleagues took a closer look, they found that the crab’s brain had not developed properly either. It was unusually small, and somewhat deformed…
…a unique species of galatheid squat lobster that occurs in the Pacific, particularly Indonesia, the Philippines and Japan. L. siagiani is typically associated with giant barrel sponges (Usually Xestospongia testudinaria) and likely lives inside/around the sponge and feeds on excess organic material the sponge produces. The sponge in turn likely gains protection by having the squat lobster around.
Unlike animals on land or in shallow water – where skin, fur, and feather coloration may differ within habitats like hues on an artist’s palette – deep-sea animals follow a surprisingly regular pattern in their coloration.
Blue animals in the ocean live near the surface. Deeper down, animals are blue on top and white on the bottom. At greater depths, animals are generally transparent, but have red stomachs. Below that, animals are red or black over their entire bodies. Finally, at the bottom, almost all animals are either a pale red or a cream color. The most likely explanation for this distribution is camouflage (color that blends in with the surroundings)…