New Purple Crab Species Found In The Philippines

Four new species of crab have been discovered in the Philippine island of Palawan. And one of the crabs truly stands out with its unusually bright purple shell.

National Geographic reports that the Insulamon palawanese may use its uniquely colored shell to help identify its own kind: “It is known that crabs can discriminate colours. Therefore, it seems likely that the colouration has a signal function for the social behaviour, e.g. mating,” Hendrik Freitag of the Senckenberg Museum of Zoology in Dresden, Germany told AFP.


“The particular violet coloration might just have evolved by chance, and must not necessarily have a very specific function or reason aside from being a general visual signal for recognition,” Freitag told National Geographic. Freitag’s report on the new species of crabs was published in the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology.

Despite the big news, the newly discovered crabs are quite small in stature, each from about an inch to two inches wide.  Freitag said the purple crabs likely have several natural predators, including some humans in remote areas. But he said the greatest threat to the species is ongoing forest clearing for farming, mining and home building.

What do you think should be done to help preserve these newly discovered crab species? Share your bright ideas with us!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: The Huffington Post

Shark Caught on Photo Devouring Another Shark

National Geographic has released this soon-to-be classic photograph of one shark eating another shark whole.

The photo comes from Daniela Ceccarelli, of Australia’s Research Council Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.  Ceccarelli was working with fellow researcher David Williamson on conducting a “fish census” off Great Keppel Island, part of the country’s Great Barrier Reef. That’s when Ceccarelli thought she spotted a brown-banded bamboo shark hanging out near the ocean’s floor.

“The first thing that caught my eye was the almost translucent white of the bamboo shark,” Ceccarelli told National Geographic in an email. Instead, as Ceccarelli moved in for a closer look she noticed a camouflaged wobbegong shark emerging from seclusion with the same bamboo shark partially wedged inside its jaws.


“It became clear that the head of the bamboo shark was hidden in its mouth,” she said. “The bamboo shark was motionless and definitely dead.”

As the New Scientist explains, Wobbegongs, aka carpet sharks, are silent predators, waiting at the bottom of the ocean floor for their pray to pass by. And as stunning as this photo may be, it’s not uncommon for Wobbegongs to devour such large meals. Like several kinds of snakes, the Wobbegong has a dislocating jaw and rearward-pointing teeth that help it consume disproportionately large prey.

Although Wobbegongs bite humans with some regularity, these usually aren’t actual attacks where the shark is hunting for prey. Rather, these bites tend to be more of a defensive reflex after the shark itself has been assaulted, usually by someone unintentionally stepping on it.

Source & Image: Yahoo News