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jeudi 19 juin 2014

Animals that don't Exist

The Yellow Crab

The Yellow Crab, Lithodes flavus, is of the Lithodoidea family, and is consideredas being part of the king crab genus. However, he does not live in the atrctic waters, like his cousins. The Yellow Crab is found exclusively in the tropical underwater-caves of the southern hemisphere.
Because of this sheltered environment, Yellow Crabs can grow much larger than their northern relatives. The largest ever Yellow Crab that was caught weighted over 6 kgs, and there are thought to be even bigger ones living in the unexplored parts of the caves.
Underwater-caves are extremely dangerous to explore, as it is easy to get lost, or to damage ones gear in the smaller tunnels. This complex terrain, with it’s many holes and crevices, makes the perfect hunting ground for the Yellow Crab.
Used to live in deep waters, the absence of sunlight does not pose a problem to our stealthy friend, and he slips form shadow to shadow with ease, searching for his prey. The truly amazing thing about the Yellow Crab, however, is not his hunting-ability.
The limestone-caves which are home to this fascinating species are close to the ocean, and the water in them can be saltwater or freshwater, or even a mix of both. Over the five million years since it split up to form a separate species, the Yellow Crab has acquired the ability to live in both fresh- and saltwater.
When he is about to change form one environment to the other, his body freezes momentarily. It is believed that this time is needed to switch his metabolism from saltwater- to freshwater-compatible, or vice-versa.
Vivisection study of the animals is prohibited, since it is an endangered species, and scientists have yet to understand the underlying mechanisms of this phenomena, but multiple observations of the “switch”, both by teams of scientists as well as recreational divers, as well as sightings of the crabs in both saltwater and freshwater caves, leave no doubt to of ability.

This is the first installment of "Animals that don't Exist". I hope to be able to update thursdays and sundays. If not, I will get down on my knees, bow my head to you, and hope that you don't hit too hard.

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