Giant crab fossils unearthed in New Zealand| Trending Viral hub

Paleontologists have described a new species of the crab genus. Pseudocarcinoma of large fossilized specimens found in Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand.

Pseudocarcinus karlraubenheimeri.  Scale bars - 5 cm.  Image credit: Barry WM van Bakel & Àlex Ossó, doi: 10.1080/00288306.2024.2314472.

Pseudocarcinus karlraubenheimeri. Scale bars – 5 cm. Image credit: Barry WM van Bakel & Àlex Ossó, doi: 10.1080/00288306.2024.2314472.

Pseudocarcinoma It is a monotypic genus of the crab family menipids.

It includes a very large species called Tasmanian giant crabPseudocarcinus gigas).

Also known as the southern giant crab, it resides on rocky, muddy bottoms off southern Australia.

“The living ‘giant southern crab’ Pseudocarcinus gigas “It is among the largest crabs that have ever existed,” said Utrecht University paleontologist Barry van Bakel and his colleague Àlex Ossó.

“It is currently endemic to the cold temperate continental margin of southern Australia, although there is also a single record of a female individual captured on the South Island of New Zealand.”

“Scientists recognized and described the unique morphological character set of this monotypic genus and erected a new family and superfamily to accommodate it.”

“Unfortunately, the geological history of this remarkable group of crabs is poorly known.”

Called Pseudocarcinus karlraubenheimerithe new member of the genus lived in New Zealand about 8.8 million years ago (Miocene epoch).

Six specimens of the species were collected at Waitoetoe Beach in the Urenui Formation of the Taranaki Basin, in which a series of volcanoes Mohakatino Volcanic Center It exploded into the high seas, leading to the formation of a specific paleoenvironment.

“This is the first evidence that Pseudocarcinoma “It inhabited the region that is now New Zealand,” the researchers said.

According to the team, Pseudocarcinoma Males have one normal-sized claw and another large one.

“In modern seas, crabs have larger absolute claw sizes in temperate regions than in tropical regions, although claws are smaller relative to body size in temperate seas.”

“The Miocene of New Zealand supported two species of giant crabs with the largest crushing claws known: Tumidocarcinus giganteus and Pseudocarcinus karlraubenheimeri.”

“Apparently, food sources, metabolic conditions and calcium carbonate supply were favorable for these species.”

tumidocarcino became extinct at the end of the Miocene; Pseudocarcinoma “It is currently only known from Australian waters.”

The teams paper was published in the New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics.


Barry WM van Bakel and Àlex Ossó. A new ‘southern giant crab’ from a Miocene continental slope palaeoenvironment in Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics, published online February 27, 2024; doi:10.1080/00288306.2024.2314472

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