New Crab Species with Blade-Like Claws Discovered in the Deep Sea

Written by Camilla Jessen

May.17 - 2024 1:39 PM CET

Researchers have discovered a new species of crab in the deep sea.

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Scientists have identified a new species of crab in the depths of the South China Sea.

Named Gordonopsis mazupo, or Mazu's Porter Crab, this unique crustacean was discovered during an expedition in March 2021 using a manned submersible.

A Deep-Sea Discovery

The Mazu's Porter Crab was found clinging to coral at an impressive depth of approximately 3,000 feet (900 meters), according to Yahoo News.

This previously unknown species stands out due to its distinct physical characteristics, including spiny legs and blade-like claws, which were key identifiers for researchers Peter Ng and Xinming Liu.

Photo: Yadong Zhou via Ng and Liu

The crab is relatively large for its kind, with a body length of about 3 centimeters and a leg span exceeding 8 centimeters.

Its legs, which stretch over 9 centimeters long, are adorned with blades and spikes, giving the crab a unique appearance. The pale orange coloration of the crab further adds to its distinctive look.

The identification of Gordonopsis mazupo was based on a thorough examination of its physical traits, such as the shape and size of its legs, spines, and overall body structure.

The researchers did not conduct DNA analysis.. Despite the lack of genetic data, the physical distinctiveness of the crab was enough to confirm it as a new species.

The crab was named after the Chinese sea goddess Mazu to honor her connection to the sea and Chinese culture. Mazu is a central figure in Chinese maritime culture, symbolizing protection and safety for sailors and fishermen.

Thousands of new species are discovered every year, and this discovery joins a number of remarkable finds. The pale orange Mazu's Porter Crab is another example of the diversity and mystery of the deep sea.

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