Austropallene halanychi

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Recently, scientists have discovered a new species of sea spider called Austropallene halanychi.

About Austropallene halanychi

  • The spider with a strange yellow body colour was found off the Antarctica Ocean and has four near-black eyes and large bulbous claws.
  • Features:
  • It is a distant relative to horseshoe crabs and arachnids.
  • The sea spider also has a peculiar way of eating in which it does not use its mouth but a straw-like proboscis to consume food.
  • Another bizarre function found in the species was its way of respiration - it breathes through its legs. 
  • In addition, the new species has large claws that look like "boxing gloves," which it likely uses to grab hold of soft foods like anemones and worms
  • It was pulled from the ocean floor in the Ross Sea, about 1,870 feet (570 meters) below the surface. 

Key points about Ross Sea

  • It is a giant bay just 320 kms from the South Pole.
  • A large portion of the sea is covered by the Ross Ice Shelf, the largest ice shelf in Antarctica. The sea is remote and positioned south and slightly east of New Zealand.
  • It is the first protected area in Antarctica, and home to most of the world’s penguins and many species of whale.
  • It is strongly influenced by the coastal East-Wind Drift that sets up a vast clockwise gyre accompanied by deepwater upwelling. 
  • It is one of the last intact marine ecosystems in the world, home to penguins, seals, Antarctic toothfish, and whales.

Q1) What is Horseshoe crab?

The horseshoe crab is a marine chelicerate arthropod living in shallow coastal waters on soft sandy or muddy bottoms and spawns mostly on intertidal beaches at summer-spring high tides. The Chelicerata is a division within the Arthropoda, containing animals such as spiders, scorpions, harvestmen, mites and ticks. Like all arthropods, they have a segmented body and segmented limbs and a thick chitinous cuticle called an exoskeleton.

Source: Newly found sea spider species breathes through legs, has boxing gloves for claws