Strangeness of life: this crab cuts sponges to dress with

It’s a discovery that’s both “adorable” and “horrifying” according to the curator of the Western Australian Museum where the creature is kept. On an Australian beach, between the rocks emerging from tide low, a scientist from the University of Canterbury has identified a new species of sponge crab ! She was baptized Lamarckdromia beaglein homage to the ship on which traveled Charles DarwinHMS Beagle.

The members of this family of crustacean – called Dromiidae – are known for their unusual behavior: crabs cut up sea sponges with their pliers and create a real coat which covers their back and their legs. This behavior is probably not only aesthetic, the researchers think that it allows the crabs to better camouflage themselves in their environment but also to scare away predators, when the species of sea sponge used are toxic. But these are still speculations.

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