Scientists Eye Use of Furry Crab to Heal Barrier Reef Coral Damage
By Vittorio Hernandez | February 6, 2013 9:58 AM EST
Researchers from the James Cook University in northern Queensland initially blamed furry coral crabs for the damage on the Great Barrier Reef, but they are now considering tapping the crabs to heal the corals from the white syndrome disease.
The damages were found at reefs near Cooktown, Cairns, Townsville and Rockhampton.
"It turns out that these little crabs move potentially from nearby coral colonies, onto diseased colonies and they slow down the disease by three times," ABC quoted Joseph Pollock, a researcher at the university's School of Marine and Tropical Biology..
He explained that the crabs may actually be helping the coral by eating tissues that fall off and potentially any microscopic critters right at the disease lesion front.
"It could be these crabs are giving it (the coral) a bit of a chance to stay alive until potentially those water temperatures could come down or the coral could put up a defence to stop the disease progression," he added
.The crab's scientific name is Cymo melanodactylus. It is a species of small decapods crustacean from the Xanthidae family and found in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, living in crevices and on the surface of corals.
It appears to be covered with short fur and with large pale blue, stalked eyes, a spiny carapace with a shallow groove down the middle.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
Join the Conversation
- Yuka, A Woolly Mammoth, Is Just 39,000 Years Young, And Wears A Reddish Coat
- Army Of Moonwalkers May Soon Be Ready As Michael Jackson Reportedly Cloned Himself Before Death
- Social Media Conspiracy Fires Up Due To Ancient Engraving On Mars [Watch Video]
- Aussies Love Robots More Than The Japanese Do
- Nanoplug Invisible Hearing Aid Comes With High-Tech Features And Nano-Battery That Recharges Instantaneously
- NATO: Russia's Been Conducting Too Many Military Flights Over Europe
- Nokia Lumia 730 v. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Moto X 2014 vs. Motorola DROID Turbo - Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Apple iPhone 6 Plus vs Motorola Droid Turbo: Comparsion On Processor, Software And Battery
- Australia Special Forces Await 'Delayed' Iraqi Visas Before Joining ISIS Fight
- ISIS Has Been Equipped With Advanced Anti-Aircraft Missiles
- Samsung Galaxy Note 4 vs Motorola Droid Turbo – S-Pen Is Note’s 4 USP But Droid Turbo Can Outshine With Larger Battery