A Japanese research team has discovered a new species of crab, discovered in the shallow waters of Tokyo Bay near a site popular with locals for gathering shellfish. The odds of discovering a new species in a relatively populated area was very low, but this new species of crab was hidden in the tunnels made by lugworms, and so it was not discovered immediately.
“It is extremely rare for a new kind of crab to be found in the tidal flats of Tokyo Bay,” said a member of the research team that discovered the new crab. The scientists were primarily from the Natural History Museum and Institute, in Japan’s Chiba Prefecture. The new crab measures around 3 centimeters wide, and belongs to the Pinnotheridae family, according to the researchers. The crabs are yellowish-brown in color, and they were found there by the research team in 2010 and 2012, the members of the team collecting one male and three females from underground tunnels made by a type of lugworm.
The research team had to check if the crabs were at all similar to existing species found elsewhere in the world. Eventually it was concluded that the Chiba crabs were in fact a new kind of crab not found elsewhere in the world. The research team who made the discovery said that indeed the finding of the new species was fortuitous, as scientists frequently survey the tidal flats in Tokyo Bay. The Banzumamegani had evaded detection because they live only in those lugworm tunnels, the team revealed.
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