Monday, 24 November 2014

Stargazer Shrimp Discovered In South African Waters

Chuck Bednar for – Your Universe Online

A newly-discovered species of shrimp living in South African waters has been dubbed the Stargazer Mysid due to the way its large, candy-striped eyes appear to gaze permanently upward, researchers from the University of Cape Town (UCT) announced recently.

Even though the 10- to 15-millimeter long crustacean appears to have a devoted interest in astronomy, the university explained that the phenomenon is simply a trick of nature, as the eyes of shrimps lack pupils and irises. Instead, the creatures have compound eyes comprised of several simple elements, each of which look in different directions.

The colorful patterns on its eyes are believed to give the appearance that they belong to a much larger creature, thus scaring off predators, UCT researchers noted. The creature’s official name is Mysidopsis zsilaveczi in honor of Guido Zsilavecz, the underwater photographer who first discovered the creature at False Bay in southwest South Africa.

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