A new species of hermit crab with feathery antennae has been discovered off the coast of Japan. What's especially cool is that they use living corals as shells.
Small "walking corals" unattached to large reefs have long been known, and some have been observed in symbiosis with worms that hid inside and in return help the coral move around. Via Momoko Igawa and Makoto Kato:
Symbiont shift is rare in obligate mutualisms because both the partners are reciprocally dependent on and specialized to each other. In the obligate accommodation–transportation mutualism between walking corals and sipunculans, however, an unusual saltatory symbiont shift was discovered. In shallow waters of southern Japan, an undescribed hermit crab species was found living in corallums of solitary scleractinian corals of the genera Heterocyathus and Heteropsammia, replacing the usual sipunculan symbiont. We described the hermit crab as a new species Diogenes heteropsammicola (Decapoda, Anomura, Diogenidae), and explored its association with the walking corals. This hermit crab species obligately inhabits the coiled cavity of the corals, and was easily distinguished from other congeneric species by the exceedingly slender chelipeds and ambulatory legs, and the symmetrical telson. Observations of behavior in aquaria showed that the new hermit crab, like the sipunculan, carries the host coral and prevents the coral from being buried. This is an interesting case in which an organism phylogenetically distant from Sipuncula takes over the symbiotic role in association with a walking coral. The hermit crab species is unique in that its lodging is a living solitary coral that grows with the hermit crab in an accommodation–transportation mutualism.
• A new species of hermit crab, Diogenes heteropsammicola (Crustacea, Decapoda, Anomura, Diogenidae), replaces a mutualistic sipunculan in a walking coral symbiosis (PLOS via CBC, h/t Jessica!)
Today would have been Carl Sagan’s 84th birthday. I wish he were here. Watch the above, climb aboard your Ship of the Imagination, and make the future. View this post on Instagram My dear wonderful dad would be 84 today. I find that very hard to imagine. I spend a lot of time wondering what […]
NASA’s Juno spacecraft took this glamour shot of Jupiter on October 29, 2018, from about 4,400 miles (7,000) kilometers above the planet’s clouds. From NASA: A multitude of magnificent, swirling clouds in Jupiter’s dynamic North North Temperate Belt is captured in this image… Appearing in the scene are several bright-white “pop-up” clouds as well as […]
The MIT Media Lab's Spatial Flux Project was created by Carson Smuts and Chrisoula Kapelonis to imagine and prototype soft inflatable robots that would be designed to operate in zero-gee, where there is no up or down and "we do not have to contend with architecture's greatest arch-nemesis, gravity."
What do you get for the techie who has everything? How about giving them a Raspberry Pi and letting them make pretty much anything. Or better yet, do it for yourself with the Ultimate Raspberry Pi eBook Bundle. This trove of ideas and education unlocks the unlimited potential of this mini-computer, whose affordability and versatility […]
Note-taking just caught up to the digital age. For most of us, writing freehand is quicker and more convenient than pecking away on a tablet, but what to do when you need those scribbles on file? Grab a Rocketbook Everlast Reusable Notebook, which seamlessly fuses analog and digital notes. Just jot down your thoughts, journals […]
Remember the cartoons of your youth? There’s a good reason. Nothing sparks the imagination like well-done animation. And whether you need a logo in motion or just want to bring your own imagination to life, CrazyTalk Animator 3 Pro is the tool that can take you there. Easy enough for casual users but with all […]