Australian Researchers Discover New Squat Lobsters

The small crustacean, which can fit in the palm of a hand, is one of ten lobster species collected off the western coast of Australia during research missions in 2005 and 2007. Six of the lobsters—including G. subspinosa—are new to Australia, researchers just announced. Two more are completely new to science.

Hundreds of identified species of squat lobster are found in oceans worldwide at depths ranging from six feet (two meters) to three miles (five kilometers). Squat lobsters, also known as squatties, are distinguished by their large front claws and compressed bodies. The animals are more intimately related to hermit crabs than true lobsters.

As for G. subspinosa, "this genus is one of the most colorful of all squat lobsters," said marine scientist Joanne Taylor of Museum Victoria, who co-authored a paper relating the new lobsters published in the October 12 issue of the journal Zootaxa.
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