posted on May, 29 2008 @ 05:06 PM
It is a bit odd... It does appear to be a decent size on the video however it is difficult to tell since there does not appear to be any size
markers/references. The video is also grainy making the anatomy difficult to make out. Considering the size I would have to say is it Limulus AKA the
horseshoe crab, possibly one that has recently shed its shell, which arthropods have to do on occasion (that is the problem with having an external
skeleton). Here is what I can make out from the video...
The underside (ventrum) there are a set of what appear to be “book gills” a less developed version of the “book lungs” spiders have.
Truthfully it appears to be a horseshoe crab due to the separation of its body into the three divisions seen in the horseshoe crab- prosoma ,
opisthosoma, and the telson. The telson is considered to be the tail of the organism and in Limulus (otherwise known as a horseshoe crab) it is a hard
and covered by a spiny shell while in this animal it appears to be fleshy. The prosoma and opisthosoma appear to have a shell but even these appear
“softer” in the video than a typical Limulus. I counted what I thought were 6 legs, again consistent with Limulus.
The problem is Limulus is a oceanic species and this was found in fresh water, although if it is as big or even ½ as big as they say then that
precludes it from being a member of the Notostraca ie either Triops spp or Lepidurus spp. which never get more than a few inches and the thing in the
pic definitely seems larger than a few inches! Also making it unlikely to be a member of Notostraca is that the animal in the photo lacks both a long
first thoracopod which should be large and visible at the cranial aspect of the animal and the animal in the video has one solid tail which does not
split into the caudal furca typically seen in Notostraca species. Also I don’t believe Notostraca has book gills and they have more segments with
legs on each segment which this animal does not appear to have.
If I had to pin it on one thing I would say it is a Limulus that recently shed, and it was probably not found in fresh water. If you can try to get a
small specimen any part of the animal would do and simple DNA testing could tell you if it is either one of these 2 species, which any marine research
lab could perform. If what they are saying is correct then there are more of them right...
Pretty cool though! I would love to see one, more pics of them, or a sample of a dead one!