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

astronomy-to-zoology

astronomy-to-zoology:

Lauriea siagiani

…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.

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Crustacea-Malacostraca-Decapoda-Anomura-Galatheidae-Lauriea-L. siagiani

Images: Rene Cazalens and Karen Honeycutt

mucholderthen
mucholderthen:

Two squat lobsters posing for the camera, Bohol, Cabilao Island, Philippines
Photographed by Tobias Friedrich
(via Divetime)

Squat lobsters are “squat” in the sense of being flat both front and back, and of holding their long tails curled beneath the thorax. Their more than 900 species (in around 60 genera) make up two groups in the decapod infraorder Anomura, alongside groups including the hermit crabs and mole crabs.
Squat lobsters are distributed worldwide in the oceans, from near the surface to deep sea hydrothermal vents.  [Wikipedia]

mucholderthen:

Two squat lobsters posing for the camera, Bohol, Cabilao Island, Philippines

Photographed by Tobias Friedrich

(via Divetime)

Squat lobsters are “squat” in the sense of being flat both front and back, and of holding their long tails curled beneath the thorax. Their more than 900 species (in around 60 genera) make up two groups in the decapod infraorder Anomura, alongside groups including the hermit crabs and mole crabs.

Squat lobsters are distributed worldwide in the oceans, from near the surface to deep sea hydrothermal vents.  [Wikipedia]

Tiny crustacean discovered in deep sea off Europe
by Jeremy Hance (June 2012)
Scientists have pulled up a tiny new species of ‘squat lobster' from a deep sea mountain at 1,410 meters below sea level off the coast of Spain.
Dubbed Uroptychus cartesi, this is only the fourth species in this genus from the eastern Atlantic Ocean, although there are over hundred unique species in the Pacific and Indian ocean. The new species measures just 5-7 centimeters.
Apart of the family Chirostylidae, the new species is more closely related to crabs, though the family is commonly referred to as squat lobsters. Recovered off Galacia, U. cartesi was named after Spanish scientists Joan Cartes with the Barcelona’s Institute of Marine Sciences.The new species was discovered by Spain’s INDEMARES program, which is exploring the country’s marine riches with a goal toward conservation. The species is described in the latest edition of ZooTaxa. 
(via: Monga Bay)
Photo by Antonio Punzon/IEO

Tiny crustacean discovered in deep sea off Europe

by Jeremy Hance (June 2012)

Scientists have pulled up a tiny new species of ‘squat lobster' from a deep sea mountain at 1,410 meters below sea level off the coast of Spain.

Dubbed Uroptychus cartesi, this is only the fourth species in this genus from the eastern Atlantic Ocean, although there are over hundred unique species in the Pacific and Indian ocean. The new species measures just 5-7 centimeters.

Apart of the family Chirostylidae, the new species is more closely related to crabs, though the family is commonly referred to as squat lobsters. Recovered off Galacia, U. cartesi was named after Spanish scientists Joan Cartes with the Barcelona’s Institute of Marine Sciences.The new species was discovered by Spain’s INDEMARES program, which is exploring the country’s marine riches with a goal toward conservation. The species is described in the latest edition of ZooTaxa.

(via: Monga Bay)

Photo by Antonio Punzon/IEO

What Is a Crustacean?

by EOL staff

The Latin root, crustaceus, “having a crust or shell,” really doesn’t entirely narrow it down to crustaceans. They belong to the phylum Arthropoda, as do insects, arachnids, and many other groups; all arthropods have hard exoskeletons or shells, segmented bodies, and jointed limbs. Crustaceans are usually distinguishable from the other arthropods in several important ways, chiefly:

  • Biramous appendages.  Most crustaceans have appendages or limbs that are split into two, usually segmented, branches.  Both branches originate on the same proximal segment.
  • Larvae.  Early in development, most crustaceans go through a series of larval stages, the first being the nauplius larva, in which only a few limbs are present, near the front on the body; crustaceans add their more posterior limbs as they grow and develop further.  The nauplius larva is unique to Crustacea.
  • Eyes. The early larval stages of crustaceans have a single, simple, median eye composed of three similar, closely opposed parts. This larval eye, or “naupliar eye,” often disappears later in development, but on some crustaceans (e.g., the branchiopod Triops) it is retained even after the adult compound eyes have developed.  In all copepod crustaceans, this larval eye is retained throughout their development as the only eye, although the three similar parts may separate and each become associated with their own cuticular lens.  In other crustaceans that retain the larval eye into adulthood, up to seven optical units may develop.
  • Labrum.  Crustaceans have a lobe-like structure called the labrum anterior to the mouth that partially encloses it.
  • Head.  Crustaceans are distinguished by a five-segmented head (cephalon), followed by a long trunk typically regionalized into a thorax and abdomen.
  • Baby teeth.” Most crustaceans in their early larval stages chew their food with a unique structure called a naupliar arthrite, which is on the second antenna.  This chewing tool is lost later in development, and chewing is taken over by the mandibular gnathobase.

Crustacean characters can reveal evolutionary history both by their presence and absence. The naupliar arthrite is one of several characters that are helping researchers to untangle the evolutionary history of crustaceans and other arthropods (Ferrari et al. 2011). Though it is present in larvae of many Crustacea, several groups have lost it over the course of their evolution, and the ostracods never inherited it…

(read more: Encyclopedia of Life)

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images: T - Sally Lightfoot Crab by Victor Burolla; 2L - Florida Crayfish (Procambarus alleni) by Jan Ševcík; 2R - by Bernard Picton; 3 - Common Pill Bug (Armadillidium vulgare) by Stanislav Krejcík; 4L - Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) by Jere7my; 4R - Triops by BioImages - the Virtual Fieldguide (UK); B - Palinurus delagoae by Tin Yam Chan)

New genus of Squat Lobster, with 5 species, Described
Feb. 15, 2013 
On recent expeditions to Madagascar and the French Polynesia, two Spanish researchers have discovered five new species of crustacean and a new genus named Triodonthea.
Experts from the Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes and the University of Barcelona (UB) collected and studied different crustacean specimens during recent expeditions to Madagascar, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, the Philippines and French Polynesia.
Using morphological and molecular data they have discovered five new species of crustaceans in the waters of these regions. They are genetically different but morphologically very similar and they also found a new genus, named Triodonthea. The five new species documented in the study belong to the Lauriea genus of the Galatheidae family, which is differentiated easily from other species of the group as it has very long setae and their legs end in a double spine…
(read more: Science Daily)            (photo: Enrique MacPherson)

New genus of Squat Lobster, with 5 species, Described

Feb. 15, 2013

On recent expeditions to Madagascar and the French Polynesia, two Spanish researchers have discovered five new species of crustacean and a new genus named Triodonthea.

Experts from the Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes and the University of Barcelona (UB) collected and studied different crustacean specimens during recent expeditions to Madagascar, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, the Philippines and French Polynesia.

Using morphological and molecular data they have discovered five new species of crustaceans in the waters of these regions. They are genetically different but morphologically very similar and they also found a new genus, named Triodonthea. The five new species documented in the study belong to the Lauriea genus of the Galatheidae family, which is differentiated easily from other species of the group as it has very long setae and their legs end in a double spine…

(read more: Science Daily)            (photo: Enrique MacPherson)

photonasty

clothesb4bros: "Lost World" of Odd Species Found Off Antarctica

by Dave Mosher

A camera-equipped submersible robot filmed species such as barnacles, yeti crabs, anemones, and even an octopus, all of which are mostly colorless and live in utter darkness at depths of 7,875 feet (2,400 meters), according to a new study.

About 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) east of the southern tip of South America, “this is a new province of deep-sea life, something like a new continent, and it’s a place we’ve been trying to [reach] for a long time,” said study co-author Jon Copley, a marine biologist at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom.

“It harbors some of the lushest abundance of life I have ever seen in the deep ocean,” he said.”

The species of Antarctica’s “lost world” were described this week (Jan. 4, 2012) in the journal PLoS Biology

(read more: National Geo)

Galatheid crabs (“squat lobsters”) and a large shrimp feast opportunistically on a pelagic catch. The largest crab individuals were feeding directly on the catch, whereas the smaller crabs waited their turn to on the outskirts of the group. Image captured by the Little Hercules ROV on a site referred to as ‘Zona Senja’ near Sulawesi, Indonesia, on August 2, 2010. 
Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, INDEX-SATAL 2010

Galatheid crabs (“squat lobsters”) and a large shrimp feast opportunistically on a pelagic catch. The largest crab individuals were feeding directly on the catch, whereas the smaller crabs waited their turn to on the outskirts of the group. Image captured by the Little Hercules ROV on a site referred to as ‘Zona Senja’ near Sulawesi, Indonesia, on August 2, 2010.

Image courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, INDEX-SATAL 2010

Deep Sea Ocean Floor Images from Remote Operated Vehicle dives during the NOAA Galapagos Rift Expedition, July 2011.

The top photo is of the summit of a 10+ meter extinct chimney on the sea floor, covered in many smaller chimlets that mark sites of former hydrothermal flow. Pictures of deep sea animals include: an 8 armed sea star, a squat lobster, closeup of an anemone, a benthic octopus, a yellow sponge on hardened lava flow, and gorgonian whip coral.

Courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program.