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Posted on: January 19, 2023

TWO NEW HERMIT CRAB SPECIES NAMED FROM CALVERT CLIFFS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

Date:              Jan. 19, 2023 
Contact:         Bonnie Farmer, Communications & Marketing Coordinator  
                        410-326-2042, ext. 8067 Email: Bonnie.Farmer@calvertcountymd.gov  

  

TWO NEW HERMIT CRAB SPECIES NAMED FROM CALVERT CLIFFS
Only Five Have Been Found to Date

          

SOLOMONS, MD – Jan. 19, 2023 – Calvert Cliffs is a great place to collect fossil shark teeth, whale and dolphin bones, and shells. Many scientifically important fossils have come from these world-famous cliffs. The shells commonly found on the beaches belonged to gastropods (snails) and bivalves (clams) that once inhabited this area. When snails (both modern and fossil) die, their shell may become home for other creatures. In this case, prehistoric and now-extinct hermit crabs decided to make whelk snail shells their home. Two different species of snails preserve the remains of two new species of hermit crab. These kinds of finds are exceedingly rare along Calvert Cliffs…only five comparable specimens have ever been found.

The international team of paleontologists that named these new hermit crab species included Calvert Marine Museum (CMM) Paleontology Collections Manager, John Nance, and CMM Paleontology Summer Intern, Adam Lindholm. John and Adam worked with colleagues from the Netherlands, Jonathan J.W. Wallaard, René H.B. Fraaije, Barry W.M. Van Bakel, and John W.M. Jagt to describe these amazing new finds.

The species Pagurus hazenorum (Figure 1) honors Robert and Margee Hazen, longtime friends of the CMM and avid fossil collectors. The species Paguristes timoni, is named after Timon of Athens, a hermit and misanthrope, a tragic character in ‘Timon of Athens’ a play by William Shakespeare.

Link to paper: https://www.mapress.com/zt/article/view/zootaxa.5227.3.7

Explore how the prehistoric past, natural environments, and maritime heritage come to life and tell a unique story of the Chesapeake Bay. The Calvert Marine Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Admission is $11.00 for adults; $9.00 for seniors, military with valid I.D, AAA and AARP members; $6.00 for children ages 5 - 12; children under 5 and museum members are admitted free. For more information about the museum, upcoming events, or membership, visit the website at www.calvertmarinemuseum.com or call 410-326-2042. Follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. 

  

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Attached: Figure 1

Figure 1. Here is the type specimen of Pagurus hazenorum. In the upper image, the two enlarged claws of the hermit crab are seen creating an armored door blocking the opening of the shell, whereby protecting the rest of the animal within.

23-3 Figure 1

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