Thursday, 29 May 2014

Local myth leads to discovery of new crab genus - via The Anomalist

Ananya Dutta,TNN | May 28, 2014, 01.03 AM IST

PUNE: The sightings of small orange-red coloured crabs during the monsoon in the vicinity of the Phansad wildlife sanctuary in Raigad district gave rise to local talk that the creatures came from Australia and had invaded the eco-system.

When called in to investigate the claims, scientists of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) discovered that the truth was more fascinating than the story that the locals reiterated.

"A closer look at the crustaceans revealed that not only was it a species that had not been recorded so far, but also its characteristics were so distinct that it could not be classified under any of the existing genera for crabs. This was a species from an entirely new genus," said P S Bhatnagar, officer-in-charge of the western regional centre of the ZSI.

Bhatnagar was leading a survey team from the ZSI in the sanctuary, when local forest officials asked them to look into the matter.

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