LONDON: Lately scientists have marked a small shrimp in the South African waters, having big candy-striped eyes to fright off the killers. The researchers of the University of Cape Town, with Prof. Karl Wittmann, reported their innovation on Friday and it has been available in the international journal Crustaceana. It has bright ringed patterns in its eyes which craft the eyes show as if they belong to some larger creature. This keeps the predators away.
Kemantha Govender, UCT spokeswoman, stated that although stargazer mysid was a known creature to the divers, it had no documentation in the marine biology literatures till its samples were brought by underwater photographer Guido Zsilavecz to the university. It measures about 10 to 15mm in length. The shrimp has been officially named after the diver who discovered it as Mysidopsis zsilaveczi.
Charles Griffiths, the senior marine biologist of the university was unable to identify the species initially, following which the sample was sent to an expert in Vienna. Recently Zsilavecz has also spotted a soft-bodied sea slug, which is a new type of nudibranch, around Cape Town, located at the confluence of Indian and Atlantic oceans. Griffiths remarked “it’s amazing that we’re still finding so many new species in heavily dived waters such as False Bay, right on our doorstep.”
Insect-like eyes are the features of regular shrimps, which at a time can look towards different directions. As the creatures lack pupils and irises, their gaze in a specific direction is just an illusion. They also have unusual markings on their body and experts believe that these reflect how they evolved to protect themselves from predators. Shrimps also appear bigger than they actually are owing to their eye markings, which can also be seen in certain moths.