04 August 2015

Tuesday Crustie: Long lost cousin

Of course today’s animal is going to be a crayfish! I’ll tell you why in a second...

This is Astacoides betsileoensis, one of seven species from Madagascar. Madagascar is the only place in Africa that you will find any native crayfish.

One of the weird things about the Madagascar crayfish species is that their closest relatives are not the closest geographically. You might expect them to be related to crayfish in Europe. No, the closest relatives of Madagascar crayfish are those in... Australia. Madagascar and Australia are about as close to “other side of the world” as you can get.

Nobody has a good explanation for how that happened. Nobody knows how crayfish got to Madagascar.

You can learn this and much, much more in this new book, which is releasing today!

I’ll be writing more about this book in days to come. Meanwhile, I’ve started posting excerpts from the Marmorkrebs related chapters on the Marmorkrebs blog. (I normally post abstracts there, but this book doesn’t have abstracts.) There will be one a week for a couple of months.

To celebrate the release of this book, I’ll be having some with on Twitter with the hashtag #CrayfishFacts (and maybe a few #FakeCrayfishFacts thrown in for fun). And I’ll also be dipping into my stash of Canadian chocolate today. Yum.

Picture from here.

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