New Crab Species Named After Harry Potter Characters

Posted: Jan 24 2017, 9:43am CST | by , in News | Latest Science News

 
New Crab Species Named After Harry Potter Characters
Photo Credit: Getty Images

While we don't know a lot about the animals that live and travel to coral reefs, and ex-Marine turned researcher, Harry Conley, would often see creatures off the island of Guam in the western Pacific Ocean that would fascinate him. In the twenty years after his discovery and death, his creatures finally have a name, and it is a bit magical. The new species and genus of crab, the Harryplax severus has emerged.

Mr. Conley collected many specimens that stayed in his personal collection until the early 2000s, when Dr. Gustav Paulay handed the specimens to Dr. Peter Ng, who chronicled the discoveries. There were two unusual additions to this collection that weren't studied right away. It wasn't until recently that Ng and Dr. Jose Christopher E. Mendoza found that they had a new species and a new genus amongst the animals.

The two authors of the study on these animals named it the Harryplax to pay tribute to Harry Conley, not Harry Potter, because he was a "soft-spoken ex-Marine with a steely determination and a heart of gold," and whose endeavors "have substantially advanced the cause of marine science."

The name was also designed to allude to that Harry Potter, because they relate it bak to the magical abilities of scientists to find rare species. Dr. Mendoza said he is a "Potterhead" and couldn't pass up the opportunity.

The species name, severus, is inspired by yet another Harry Potter character, Severus Snape, a tragic hero in the series. Readers didn't know the true nature of Snape until the very end of the series, "just like the present new species which has eluded discovery until now, nearly 20 years after it was first collected."

The new species is tiny in both length and width and can be found deep in coral rubble or under subtidal rocks, perhaps also in cavities. To survive within the depths, they have developed deep in coral rubble or under subtidal rocks, perhaps also in cavities. As of now, they are only found in Guam.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/46" rel="author">Noel Diem</a>
Noel passion is to write about geek culture.

 

 

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