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

Kate’s First Royal Christmas Sparks Curiosity

For any newlywed, the first Christmas with the in-laws can be intense. Now imagine spending it with Queen Elizabeth. That’s exactly what Kate faces when she joins husband Prince William and his family at Sandringham House, about 110 miles north of London, for the holiday. The pressures range from what to wear to what to give the family that has everything.

In keeping with both the Queen’s frugality and the fact that the royals can have virtually anything they desire, gifts are normally fun and jokey rather than expensive and showy.

“Kate has the brains to realize that you don’t buy extravagant presents. The royals don’t approve of that,” says author Judy Wade. “You give small, inexpensive things that are thoughtful. There’s a lot of scurrying around by aides of royals asking other aides what their principles want for Christmas.”

On Dec. 25 there is a parade to church – something that gives local well-wishers a chance to see and the family on the holiday.  As for wardrobe changes, Kate might be considering something special for Christmas Eve cocktails and dinner, then another outfit for Christmas morning – to get her through breakfast, the walk to church, followed by the traditional lunch of roast turkey or game and a vast array of seasonal vegetables, like Brussels sprouts.

In the evening, there will be a change for dinner and the inevitable parlor games, such as charades. The Queen’s favorites are jigsaw puzzles and Scrabble. William and Kate are likely to visit the Middletons in the days after Christmas.