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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Colorful Crabs were Found in the Philippines

Biology researchers found four species of colorful crabs occupy thousands of years the waters near the island of Palawan, Philippines. Beautiful endemic crab habitat is currently threatened by mining activities.
Insulamon Palawanense crab species. (Picture from: http://www.scienceomega.com/)
Colorful crabs were found in the expedition from German, Senckenberg Research Institute and the De La Salle University from Philippines. During their 10 years of diving to look for biological diversity around the island of Palawan, which lies on the border of Sundaland and the Philippines. Two of the region known as the habitat of the species richest in the world.
Insulamon Magnum crab species. (Picture from: http://www.sci-news.com/)
"During the study, we found four new species of crabs," said biologist Hendrik Freitag of Senckenberg Natural History Collection.
Insulamon Johannchristiani crab species. (Picture from: http://www.sci-news.com/)
About 50 percent of species that live in Palawan are endemic or not found in other regions of the world, including four new species of crab, which is Insulamon palawanense, I. magnum, I. johannchristiani, and I. porculum, which lives only in Philippine waters.

Insulamon Palawanense crab, which has purple-black shells accented with white on the bottom end of the orange claw, is one such example. Early stages of this crab lives in the sea. At the next stage of development, these animals rely heavily on fresh water. This growth pattern makes the crab did not spread to other areas. 

Researchers estimate crab species and genera are separated from their ancestors from tens of thousands of years ago. "Our research proves Insulamon only live in Calamian group, which is located on the northern island of Palawan. This unique habitat for them," said Freitag.
location of the Calamian Islands in the Philip...
Location of the Calamian Islands in the Philippine province of Palawan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Insulamon magnum species has brown mixed purple, while Insulamon johannchristiani orange with little black accents.

Unfortunately, these colorful crabs begin to lose their habitats. Several mining projects done in this area despite opposition from non-governmental organizations and indigenous peoples.

According to Freitag, the emergence of certain mining alter the environmental balance in the area. Though small changes in the environment can lead to extinction. *** [SCI-NEWS | ANTON WILLIAM | KORAN TEMPO 3833]
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