The marbled crayfish (Procambarus virginalis) is a mutant slough crayfish (Procambarus fallax) an American species; the mutation that allowed slough crayfish to reproduce asexually by cloning itself occurred a mere 25 years ago, and it came to Germany as an aquarium pet in 1995, sold as "Texas crayfish."
The marbled crayfish is incredibly prolific, laying hundreds of fertilized eggs at a time, each one containing a clone of itself. As aquarium owners ran out of space for their baby clones, they dumped them in lakes, where they thrived and multiplied like invertebrate tribbles.
Now they are taking over freshwater lakes and streams in Czech Republic, Hungary, Croatia and Ukraine, as well as Japan and Madagascar.
Geneticists and biologists are excited at the opportunity to study a newly speciated organism for insights into evolution; they also reassure us that cloning is only a good short term strategy for reproduction, and in 100,000 years or so, Mother Nature will rid us of the clones by producing a pathogen that they're all vulnerable to.
No word on how they taste -- someone really needs to create an invasive species "guilt-free" cookbook with recipes for Caribbean lionfish, American kudzu, English Japanese knotweed, Australian rabbits and European marbled crayfish.
This Mutant Crayfish Clones Itself, and It’s Taking Over Europe [Carl Zimmer/New York Times]
(Image: Chucholl C., CC-BY-SA)
Rocky Bergen creates gorgeous, downloadable papercraft models of retro PCs, from the Commodore 64 to the Apple ][+ to the Amstrad, with different screens to print celebrating classic 8-bit games, and accessories like tiny floppies in tiny paper sleeves. As Waxy points out, these would make stunning Christmas ornaments.
Frustratingly, this video has no data about the identity of the incredible genius featured therein. Who is she?
Spoonflower's gorgeous selection of Haunted Mansion patterns can be printed on demand on wallpaper, giftwrap, or fabric: from the green strips of the maids' uniforms to the purple and black stripes of the butler's vests, to motifs picked up from the characters and decor (tightrope walker girl's floral print, hitchhiking ghosts, Leota's seance room), the […]
So you’ve got a good eye for pictures? We’ve got a good eye for deals. And this holiday, there are some solid deals out there for photographers. Check out some of our favorite recent discounts on gear, software, and e-learning for photogs of any experience. Gadgets RevolCam: The Multi-Lens Photo Revolution for Smartphones This […]
Take a scroll through any app marketplace and you’ll see that the doors are wide open for any game these days – and any game developer. Like any creation, virtual or analog, it all starts with an idea. And if you’ve got one of those, the Complete Unity Game Developer Bundle can walk you the […]
At the rate the world is shrinking, you don’t need to be a globetrotter for a second language to be a useful skill. And if you’re looking to learn that second language (or a third, or fourth), uTalk Language Education is the learning program that makes progression not only easy but fun. If you can’t […]