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Fluffy crab that wears a sponge hat is discovered in Western Australia, named Lamarckdromia beagle

Fluffy crab wearing a sea sponge hat to protect itself from predators is latest bizarre species discovered in Australia

  • The crab named Lamarckdromia beagle was discovered on a beach in WA
  • They use claws to trim sea sponges and use them as hats for protection
  • The sponge hats can also produce harmful chemicals to repel predators

A fuzzy crab has been discovered off the coast of Western Australia wearing a sponge hat to camouflage itself.

The new species, called Lamarckdromia beagle, trims sea sponges with their claws and then uses them as a hat to protect against fish and octopuses.

The crustaceans use their hind legs to hold up their unusual hats, which are used as protection in the same way that hermit crabs use their shells.

The sponge hats can also produce harmful chemicals to repel predators.

The new species, called Lamarckdromia beagle, trims sea sponges with their claws and then uses them as a hat to protect against fish and octopuses

The new species, called Lamarckdromia beagle, trims sea sponges with their claws and then uses them as a hat to protect against fish and octopuses

dr. Andrew Hosie, a curator of crustaceans and worms at the Western Australian Museum, said the sponge hat will continue to grow and mold to the shape of the crab’s back.

“It will never adhere… it forms a nice cap that fits pretty well on the top of the crab,” he told The Watcher.

The peculiar crab was spotted by a family on a beach in Denmark, on the south coast of Western Australia.

The crustaceans use their hind legs to hold up their unusual hats, which are used for protection in the same way hermit crabs use their shells

The crustaceans use their hind legs to hold up their unusual hats, which are used for protection in the same way hermit crabs use their shells

They sent the crustaceans to the Western Australian Museum to be identified.

Doctor Hosie said the reason behind the beast’s fuzzy legs wasn’t clear, but suggested it might be to help it hide from prey even more.

“The sponge or ascidian wearing these things should provide it with all the camouflage it needs,” he said.

The crab is named after the HMS Beagle – the ship that transported Charles Darwin around the world and to Albany, Western Australia in 1836.

They can be found in shallow water, but can also live in water a few hundred meters deep.

dr. Hosie said it’s very likely that there are many other unknown species lurking in Australian waters.

The crab is named after the HMS Beagle - the ship that transported Charles Darwin around the world and to Albany, WA in 1836

The crab is named after the HMS Beagle – the ship that transported Charles Darwin around the world and to Albany, WA in 1836

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