dendroica

astronomy-to-zoology:

"Umbrella Crab" (Cryptolithodes sitchensis)

Also known as the Sitka crab or the Turtle Crab, the umbrella crab is a species of lithodid crab that is native to coastal regions of the northeastern Pacific, ranging from Sitka, Alaska to Point Loma, California. C. sitchensis is noted for having a unusual half-moon shaped carapace that extends over its walking legs and chelipeds, this serves as a form of camouflage allowing C. sitchensis to blend in with the rocks around it.  The color of C. sitchensis’s carapace is highly variable and often matches the color of the coralline algae with C. sitchensis feeds on.

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Crustacea-Malacostraca-Decapoda-Anomura-Lithodidae-Cryptolithodes-C. sitchensis

Image(s): Kueda

The light-blue soldier crab, Mictyris longicarpus, inhabits sandy beaches from Singapore and the Bay of Bengal to New Caledonia and Australia. These crabs spend much of their time buried in the sand but emerge to the surface during low tide. They are famous for traveling across the beach in large “armies.” Read more: http://eol.org/pages/4270726 Image by LiquidGhoul via Wikimedia Common
(via: Encyclopedia of Life)

The light-blue soldier crab, Mictyris longicarpus, inhabits sandy beaches from Singapore and the Bay of Bengal to New Caledonia and Australia. These crabs spend much of their time buried in the sand but emerge to the surface during low tide. They are famous for traveling across the beach in large “armies.”

 Read more: http://eol.org/pages/4270726

Image by LiquidGhoul via Wikimedia Common

(via: Encyclopedia of Life)

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bbsrc:

The new IPCC Climate Change Report is just out. Could new sources of energy help combat climate change?

Meet the Gribble

This little critter, a marine isopod, could help power cars of the future by turning wood into liquid fuel. 

http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/news/industrial-biotechnology/2012/121128-f-meet-the-gribbles.aspx

Image: Laura Michie with thanks to Dr Alex Ball for permission to use the confocal microscopy facilities at The Natural History Museum.

NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research
 Did you know that NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer is America’s first and only federally funded ship dedicated to ocean exploration and discovery?
The ship is equipped with telepresence technology that allows scientists to participate in expeditions without ever leaving the (dry) comfort of their own labs. This means that the number of scientists who can provide input and conduct “at-sea” research isn’t limited by the space available on the ship. We received input from more than 40 scientists in planning the 2013 Gulf expedition, and we expect that these scientists and many others will participate at some point over the course of the expedition. And of course, the same technology that allows scientists to participate virtually also means that YOU can tune in and follow the action, so get ready… 13 days until the expedition starts!About the image:  Spider Crab seen while exploring near the Sigsbee Escarpment in the Gulf of Mexico in 2012. 

*We’ll be heading back to the escarpment again this year and while every adventure is different, for a taste of what we saw last time, check out this highlights video: 

http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/explorations/ex1202/logs/dailyupdates/media/movies/highlights0424_video.html

 Did you know that NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer is America’s first and only federally funded ship dedicated to ocean exploration and discovery?

The ship is equipped with telepresence technology that allows scientists to participate in expeditions without ever leaving the (dry) comfort of their own labs. This means that the number of scientists who can provide input and conduct “at-sea” research isn’t limited by the space available on the ship. We received input from more than 40 scientists in planning the 2013 Gulf expedition, and we expect that these scientists and many others will participate at some point over the course of the expedition.

And of course, the same technology that allows scientists to participate virtually also means that YOU can tune in and follow the action, so get ready… 13 days until the expedition starts!

About the image:  Spider Crab seen while exploring near the Sigsbee Escarpment in the Gulf of Mexico in 2012.
*We’ll be heading back to the escarpment again this year and while every adventure is different, for a taste of what we saw last time, check out this highlights video:
450 Million Year Old Marine Creature Babysat Its Young
by Becky Oskin
The oldest fossil evidence of animal “babysitting” now comes from 450-million-year-old rocks in New York.
Small marine animals called ostracods, a group of crustaceans that includes more than 20,000 species living today, were discovered buried with their eggs and young by a team led by researchers from the University of Leicester in Britain. The findings were published today (March 13) in the journal Current Biology.
"This is a very rare and exciting find from the fossil record,” David Siveter, lead study author and a geologist at the University of Leicester, said in a statement. “Only a handful of examples are known where eggs are fossilized and associated with the parent. This discovery tells us that these ancient, tiny marine crustaceans took particular care of their brood in exactly the same way as their living relatives.”…
(read more: Live Science)
image: Siveter, Tanaka, Farrell, et al.

450 Million Year Old Marine Creature Babysat Its Young

by Becky Oskin

The oldest fossil evidence of animal “babysitting” now comes from 450-million-year-old rocks in New York.

Small marine animals called ostracods, a group of crustaceans that includes more than 20,000 species living today, were discovered buried with their eggs and young by a team led by researchers from the University of Leicester in Britain. The findings were published today (March 13) in the journal Current Biology.

"This is a very rare and exciting find from the fossil record,” David Siveter, lead study author and a geologist at the University of Leicester, said in a statement. “Only a handful of examples are known where eggs are fossilized and associated with the parent. This discovery tells us that these ancient, tiny marine crustaceans took particular care of their brood in exactly the same way as their living relatives.”…

(read more: Live Science)

image: Siveter, Tanaka, Farrell, et al.

libutron

libutron:

Water Flea - Ceriodaphnia

Ceriodaphnia is a little fresh water crustacean (less than 1 mm), living in freshwater lakes, ponds, and marshes in most of the world [1].

Ceriodaphnia feed by filtering water with their thoracic appendages and eat any phytoplankton that drift by their carapace opening.

Besides being one of the most efficient bacteria consumers of all the zooplankton species [2], Ceriodaphnia has been suggested to be a good ecotoxicity test organism (bio-indicator) for assessing acute aluminum oxide nanoparticle toxicity in fresh water environment, due to higher sensitivity and shorter growth span [3].

Animalia - Arthropoda - Crustacea - Branchiopoda - Cladocera - Daphnidae - Ceriodaphnia

Photo credit: ©Rogelio Moreno G. | Ceriodaphnia lateral view (top) and ventral view (bottom)

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bbsrc:

Meet the remipede

Don’t be fooled by their adorable little legs and slender abdomen, these blind, water-dwelling creatures are in fact venom-filled liquefying machines.

This strange creature that belongs to its own class of crustaceans, the remipedia, is the first crustacean to be identified as venomous.

The remipede feeds by breaking down its prey’s body tissue with its venom and then sucks out a runny meal from its prey’s exoskeleton.

Recently researchers from the Natural History Museum have detailed the makeup of this creature’s venom, helping us understand evolutionary relationships and also potentially having far reaching medical implications.  

For more information on venomous crustaceans go to Dr. Bjorn M. von Reumont’s website http://www.reumont.net/Evol/pictures/videos/.

Or for some great pictures of venomous bloodworms check out this blog post http://tmblr.co/ZtJ7bq15oak5L.

Copyright: Dr Bjorn M. von Reumont at the Natural History Museum

Calico Box Crab
If you go diving in the western Atlantic Ocean from the Chesapeake Bay to the Dominican Republic, you may run into this gorgeous crab, the Calico Box Crab, Hepatus epheliticus. It lives in shallow water at depths of up to 46 metres (151 ft) on sandy and muddy substrates. It often carries the sea anemone Calliactis tricolor on its back, or lies buried in the sand, with only its eyes exposed. More about this species: Encyclopedia of LifeImage by Katie Ahlfeld via Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology 

Calico Box Crab

If you go diving in the western Atlantic Ocean from the Chesapeake Bay to the Dominican Republic, you may run into this gorgeous crab, the Calico Box Crab, Hepatus epheliticus. It lives in shallow water at depths of up to 46 metres (151 ft) on sandy and muddy substrates. It often carries the sea anemone Calliactis tricolor on its back, or lies buried in the sand, with only its eyes exposed.

More about this species: Encyclopedia of Life

Image by Katie Ahlfeld via Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Invertebrate Zoology 

alex-does-science
alex-does-science:


The ancient Britons: ‘Groundwater shrimp’ survive 19 million years of climate change
(Phys.org) —New research has revealed that Britain and Ireland’s oldest known inhabitants are tiny crustaceans still living today in water-filled crevices deep beneath our feet.
Over the last 60 million years, Britain and Ireland have experienced dramatic climate change, with conditions ranging from warm and wet periods, to arid episodes and then repeated coverings by glaciers. For this reason, it was not thought that any animal species (fauna) could have survived through these fluctuations.
Now, a new study led by Dr Bernd Hänfling, Lecturer in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Hull has yielded some surprising results. Published in the journal Molecular Ecology, it shows that two species of Niphargus (small, shrimp-like animals) have persisted in Britain and Ireland for at least 19 million years; making them the oldest known inhabitants of these countries.
Dr Hänfling explains the significance of the data. He said: “All previous research shows that the majority of fauna in Britain and Ireland arrived from mainland Europe following the most recent glaciations. We have a few unique animal species - for example, the Irish hare - but these are rare and most importantly, they have only been around for a few tens of thousands of years.”
"In contrast, our results show that subterranean groundwater contains by far the oldest animals that are unique to Britain and Ireland. These species must have survived a wide range of temperatures as the climate shifted between glacial and warm conditions."
(Read More)

alex-does-science:

The ancient Britons: ‘Groundwater shrimp’ survive 19 million years of climate change

(Phys.org) —New research has revealed that Britain and Ireland’s oldest known inhabitants are tiny crustaceans still living today in water-filled crevices deep beneath our feet.

Over the last 60 million years, Britain and Ireland have experienced dramatic climate change, with conditions ranging from warm and wet periods, to arid episodes and then repeated coverings by glaciers. For this reason, it was not thought that any (fauna) could have survived through these fluctuations.

Now, a new study led by Dr Bernd Hänfling, Lecturer in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Hull has yielded some surprising results. Published in the journal Molecular Ecology, it shows that two of Niphargus (small, shrimp-like animals) have persisted in Britain and Ireland for at least 19 million years; making them the oldest known inhabitants of these countries.

Dr Hänfling explains the significance of the data. He said: “All previous research shows that the majority of fauna in Britain and Ireland arrived from mainland Europe following the most recent glaciations. We have a few unique animal species - for example, the Irish hare - but these are rare and most importantly, they have only been around for a few tens of thousands of years.”

"In contrast, our results show that subterranean groundwater contains by far the oldest animals that are unique to Britain and Ireland. These species must have survived a wide range of temperatures as the climate shifted between glacial and warm conditions."

(Read More)

libutron
libutron:

Purple Mangrove Crab (Ucides cordatus) - Brazil | ©Pedro Bernardo
Endemic from Florida (US) to the South Brazilian coast, Ucides cordatus exhibits territorial behaviur, living in individual burrows up to 2 m deep. 
This crab plays a very important ecological role in mangrove areas, because its burrow activity is essential for soil drainage and aeration, and nutrient exchange between water and sediments.
U. cordatus is considered a keystone species of neotropical mangrove forest, and also it represents in Brazil  a valuable fishery resource, exploited by local fishermen, both for their subsistence and also as a cash income source.
[Source]

libutron:

Purple Mangrove Crab (Ucides cordatus) - Brazil | ©Pedro Bernardo

Endemic from Florida (US) to the South Brazilian coast, Ucides cordatus exhibits territorial behaviur, living in individual burrows up to 2 m deep. 

This crab plays a very important ecological role in mangrove areas, because its burrow activity is essential for soil drainage and aeration, and nutrient exchange between water and sediments.

U. cordatus is considered a keystone species of neotropical mangrove forest, and also it represents in Brazil  a valuable fishery resource, exploited by local fishermen, both for their subsistence and also as a cash income source.

[Source]

Symbiosis is the interaction between two different organisms living in close association.
Symbiotic relationships are an important component of life in the ocean. In such relationships, plants or animals of different species may be dependent on one another for survival. They may share habitats or lifestyles or interact in a specific way to benefit from the presence of another organism.
When two organisms are in a symbiotic relationship, sometimes both organisms benefit (mutualism) and other times one organism may benefit while another is unaffected (commensalism). If one of the organisms is completely dependent on the other, it is called an obligate relationship; if the relationship is preferred, but not dependent, it is a facultative relationship. And, not all symbioses are positive for both organisms: in a parasitic relationship, one member benefits while the “host” is harmed…
(read more: NOAA Ocean Explorer)
image: Hermit crabs are often found inhabiting shells decorated with anemones or other sessile animals, which offer added protection and camouflage. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition.

Symbiosis is the interaction between two different organisms living in close association.

Symbiotic relationships are an important component of life in the ocean. In such relationships, plants or animals of different species may be dependent on one another for survival. They may share habitats or lifestyles or interact in a specific way to benefit from the presence of another organism.

When two organisms are in a symbiotic relationship, sometimes both organisms benefit (mutualism) and other times one organism may benefit while another is unaffected (commensalism). If one of the organisms is completely dependent on the other, it is called an obligate relationship; if the relationship is preferred, but not dependent, it is a facultative relationship. And, not all symbioses are positive for both organisms: in a parasitic relationship, one member benefits while the “host” is harmed…

(read more: NOAA Ocean Explorer)

image: Hermit crabs are often found inhabiting shells decorated with anemones or other sessile animals, which offer added protection and camouflage. Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition.