New lobster named after Mandela

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iol pic sa mandela cw man0 INLSA Nelson Mandela. Picture: Chris Adlam

A new species of crustacean has been named in honour of Nelson Mandela.

The lobster, related to hermit crabs, has been given the Latin name Munidopsis mandelai.

The sea creature was discovered in a relatively unexplored area of the South-West Indian Ocean Ridge, off the coast of South Africa, in 2011.

The tiny new species, which lives 750m below the ocean’s surface, measures just 7mm from its eyes to its rear edge.

It was found by Diva Amon, a PhD student based at the Natural History Museum, London, who was taking part in a study about submerged wood and whale bone.

It was sent to Dr Paul Clark, an invertebrates researcher at the museum, and Dr Enrique Macpherson, of Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Blanes, Spain, to be identified.

“We discovered the new species unexpectedly during a larger experiment investigating submerged wood and bones in the south-west Indian Ocean seamount, an unexplored area,” said Amon. “The finding provides us with another example of how deep-sea research continues to reveal the mysteries of underwater ecosystems.”

Clark said: “This species was collected in great depths in an isolated area just off of South Africa and identified in 2013, proving deep-sea research continues to produce new scientific discoveries.

“We thought it would be a fitting tribute to name this find in honour of Mr Mandela, a remarkable man.” – Daily Mail

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