New shrimp species discovered in False Bay: UCT

2014-11-21 20:28
(Leo Ramirez, AFP)

(Leo Ramirez, AFP)

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Johannesburg - A new shrimp species has been discovered in False Bay, the University of Cape Town (UCT) said on Friday.

The "stargazer mysid" was well-known to divers, but it was not until diver Guido Zsilavecz brought samples to the university that it was realised that the species had never been documented by marine biologists, UCT spokesperson Kemantha Govender said in a statement.

Prof Karl Wittmann published the findings in the journal and the shrimp which measures a mere a mere 10 to 15mm long has been named Mysidopsis zsilaveczi, after the diver.

The shrimp is commonly called "stargazer mysid" because its eyes seem to gaze permanently upwards. The apparently large, upward-staring eyes are just a trick of nature, as the eyes of shrimps do not have a pupil or iris.

The vivid ringed patterns of the compound eyes are thought to be there to make the eyes appear bigger, and hence to scare off predators.

Read more on:    cape town  |  marine life

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