Colorful Crab Species Discovered in The Philippines

By Meera Dolasia on April 29, 2012

Word Search

Last week, scientists from Germany's Senckenberg Museum of Zoology announced the discovery of four new species of freshwater crabs in the biologically diverse island province of Palawanin the Philippines. Confined to a small inland area within the lowland-forest ecosystems of the island, the tiny crustaceans feature bright purple or red shells and red-tipped claws.

Hendril Freitag, the head zoologist for the museum believes that since crabs can discriminate colors, the different hues could possibly signal their power - Red for the larger more dominant male and purple, for the smaller females and young adult males.

Regardless of color the carapaces or exoskeletons of all four species are strong and hard, protecting them against river rocks. This is important for their survival, given the unlike other freshwater crabs they do not migrate to the ocean or dry land, but spend their entire lives burrowed under boulders and roots in streams, feeding off dead plants, fruits and small animals. The crabs' exterior also appears swollen because of their large gill chamber that allows them to breath and stay longer on land. Their inability to be able to migrate to the ocean and survive in saltwater, makes the species highly susceptible to extinction, even if their environment changes slightly.

All four new species which have been categorized under the Insulamon Genus are quite tiny - The biggest, called Insulamon Magnum is 53 millimeters by 41.8 millimeters while the smallest, Insulamon Porculum, measures just 33.1 by 25.1 millimeters.

US-based Conservation International, lists the Philippines as one of 17 countries that harbor most of Earth's plant and animal life. Unfortunately, like these purple crabs, a lot of it is vulnerable because the forests are being cleared to make room for farming, mining and home building, effectively reducing if not completely destroying, the habitats of many species.

Resources: news.discovery.com, nationalgeographic.com

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on TwitterShare on tumblrShare on StumbleUponShare on PinterestShare on RedditShare on Edmodo
390 Comments
to use your custom avatar.
  • mo5/21/2012
    woooooow a purple crab AWESOME!!!!!
    • omg5/19/2012
      thats a cute one
      • Alina5/19/2012
        that is so cute
        • Ms.me5/17/2012
          Omg purple crab so cute
          • ms. Ruby5/17/2012
            wow i wish i was that wonderful crab !!!!!!
            • Mary5/17/2012
              PURPLE IS MY FAVORITE COLOR!!!!!!!
              • vp625
                vp6255/17/2012
                is that crab cute or wat .a purple crab omg hahaha
                • ellie5/17/2012
                  omg purple crab i <3 it
                  • epicbob5/16/2012
                    i have a pink elephant with blue wings as a pet
                    • Dragonair5/16/2012
                      OMG! A purple crab. I've never seen one of those crabs before. That crab must be a fortune or something! $$

                      Vocabulary

                      carapacescrustaceansdiscriminategenushabitatshuessusceptiblevulnerable

                      Geography

                      Palawan, Philippines

                      Most Popular Articles

                      Message In A Bottle Gets Delivered After 101 Years!
                      And The World's Favorite Number Is . . .
                      Think Fairies Are Real? So Does This Professor
                      Get Ready For The First Total Lunar Eclipse Of 2014
                      Surprise! Giant Pandas Love Sweets Too!
                      Is The Five-Second Rule Valid? Depends On Who You Ask!
                      Think Fairies Are Real? So Does This Professor
                      Smile, It's The International Day Of Happiness!
                      Minecraft As A Mandatory Subject In School? Sweet!
                      Boo Mania Sweeps Over America (And The World)!
                      Are You Ready To 'Gangnam Style'?
                      Video Of The Week - World's Youngest Successful Singer!

                      Latest Comments

                      personboy wrote:

                      sweet. welcome to the future!
                      Dutch Designer Aspires To Replac...

                      dannydude wrote:

                      want one 4 christmas
                      Create 3D Objects From 'Thin Air...

                      agent203 wrote:

                      nice............
                      Overweight Aquarium Turtle Is Pl...

                      caitlin wrote:

                      77 is best
                      And The World's Favorite Number ...

                      ALA