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Our newest Cabinet of Freshwater Curiosities entry: a crab that lives inside trees!

December 18, 2012

Exciting news everybody! The latest entry into our Cabinet of Freshwater Curiosities is out now. And a curiosity this creature certainly is. See if you can guess what it is from these cryptic clues: it’s from Liberia, it lives in a hole in a tree, and it’s a crab.

Liberian tree-hole crab

Yep, you guessed it. It’s the Liberian tree-hole crab or Globonautes macropus to use its fancy Latin name.

That’s right, it’s a crab that lives in a tree! More specifically, it lives in rain-filled holes in the trees of the Upper Guinea closed-canopy rain forest in West Africa. This tree-climbing freshwater crab scampers down at night to forage for food, mostly insects (ew!), on the forest floor before scurrying back up it’s one to two metre tall trees.

These cool crustaceans are extremely rare and are only known to be found in five locations in West Africa. But not only are these guys rare, they’re also under threat from deforestation as well as other issues, which has led to it being classified as an endangered species on the IUCN Red List.

So check out the Liberian tree-hole crab before it’s too late!

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