​New Giant Species Of Crayfish Discovered

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August 23, 2013

New Giant Species Of Crayfish — Overlooked? A new species of giant crayfish literally crawled out from under a rock in Tennessee. It proves that animals can be found in highly populated and well-explored places.

The new crayfish should not have been easily overlooked, as it is huge — twice the size of other species, the team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Eastern Kentucky University said.

The crustacean is also quite rare, they report in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. “This isn’t a crayfish that someone would have picked up and just said, ‘Oh, it’s another crayfish,’ and put it back,” said University of Illinois aquatic biologist Chris Taylor, one of the researchers told Reuters. “You would have recognized it as something really, really different and you would have saved it.”

Taylor and Guenter Schuster of Eastern Kentucky University found their first specimen of the new species under one of the biggest rocks in the deepest part of a commonly explored Tennessee creek. The giant fish is called the called Barbicambarus simmonsi and is about 5 inches long and has antennae covered with a sensitive fringe of tiny, hair-like bristles, called setae. More than half of the 600 known species of crayfish in the world are found in North America, Taylor said.

“This thing had not been seen by scientific eyes until last year,” he said