May 28, 2023

A Japanese researcher discovers a new species of sea anemone with building abilities | one planet

Calcified anemone with its hermit crab host – Photo: Akihiro Yoshikawa/Reproduction

to Anemone They usually live in shells hermit crab. But a new species, recently discovered in the Kumano Sea off Japan’s southeastern coast, not only coexists with the crab’s home, but also builds environments in it. This happens because this marine animal is called Stylobates Calciferit secretes a canopy over its host’s dwelling, creating a kind of porch in front of it.

Kagoshima University researcher Akihiro Yoshikawa, who found the sea anemone, reports that he only does this for one species of hermit crab and seems to like it because when it’s time to move into a new shell, he takes the “builder” with him, he explained to Watchmanon Friday (28).

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But this process of change is not easy. Yoshikawa was able to photograph a pair of crab and calcareous anemones in an aquarium in his laboratory during the transfer process. He observed that the crab took nearly two days to pinch, prod and coax the anemone until it finally dropped the old shell and settled on the new one.

A hermit crab filmed in an aquarium spends nearly two days to force an anemone to shed its old shell and move into a new one – Photo: Akihiro Yoshikawa

The report notes that the researcher found several crabs without Stylobates calcifer, which indicates that it is rare on the sea floor—and this may be another reason why crabs have not given up on anemones, despite a lot of work.

To see what the new species eat, Yoshikawa offers her a selection of delicacies, including skipjack tuna and live shrimp, but no item is accepted. Apparently, the marine animal ingests small particles of organic matter that fall to the sea floor.

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