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article imageWorld's first venomous crustacean identified

By Tim Sandle     Oct 26, 2013 in Environment
London - Scientists have shown that a cave-dwelling crustacean may use venom to immobilize and digest its prey. This creature is the first venomous crustacean to be identified.
Many arthropods like scorpions, spiders, and centipedes produce venom, which they use to catch prey or defend themselves. However, until recently, no one had found a species of venomous crustacean. As Nature reports, scientists based at the Natural History Museum in London now believe they have found such a creature.
The identified creature is an aquatic, cave-dwelling crustacean called Speleonectes tulumensis. The crustacean produces known venom genes and produces a neurotoxin. is a member of a group called the remipedes, which were described for the first time in 1981. Remipedes are 0.4–1.6 inches long and comprise a head and an elongate trunk of up to forty-two similar body segments
The newly identified crustaceous creatures looks like a centipede and lives underwater in caves. They are also blind.
The findings have been published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution. The paper is titled "The first venomous crustacean revealed by transcriptomics and functional morphology: remipede venom glands express a unique toxin cocktail dominated by enzymes and a neurotoxin."
More about Crustacean, Venomous, Caves, Insect
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