Fuzzy crab, shiny-eyed shrimp discovered on Java expedition

A photo from the South Java Deep Sea Biodiversity Expedition 2018 shows a yet-to-be-named spider crab species found in the waters of southwestern Java. (South Java Deep Sea Biodiversity Expedition 2018/AFP)
Updated 19 April 2018
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Fuzzy crab, shiny-eyed shrimp discovered on Java expedition

SINGAPORE: A hermit crab, a shiny-eyed shrimp and a crab with fuzzy spines are among over a dozen new species discovered in a deep-sea expedition off the Indonesian island of Java, scientists said.
The team from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) carried out the expedition for 14 days between March and early April.
The area covered included a long stretch of the Indian Ocean off Java’s southern coast as well as the Sunda Strait that separates the island from Sumatra.
“This is a part of the Indian Ocean that has been never been sampled for deep-sea animals so we really didn’t know what to find,” said Peter Ng, a crab expert and head of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum at NUS.
“We were very surprised by the findings,” he said on Thursday, adding that the team had expected to discover creatures from the Indian Ocean and the surrounding areas already known to scientists.
But the discovery of species entirely new to science “tells us that there are things happening in that part of Indonesia that we don’t know,” said Ng, who co-led the expedition.
The researchers examined 63 sites as they sailed from Jakarta to Cilacap town in southern Java and back.
Three new species of spider crabs were discovered during the expedition, the scientists said in a statement.
One of them had a plate protecting its eyes which resembled oversized ears while another was bright orange in color.
Another discovery was a new species of hermit crab with bright green eyes, according to Indonesian scientist Dwi Listyo Rahayu, also a crab expert and the expedition’s co-leader.
One new species of shrimp had shiny eyes that reflect light, the scientists said.
Ng, the NUS professor, said the scientists will carry out a detailed study of the more than 12,000 creatures from 800 species they had picked up on the expedition and publish their findings in 2020.
They expect to discover more new species as they go along, he said.
The reason they immediately identified the new species of crabs, prawns and lobsters is that the scientists involved are experts in this field, he added.


Jada Pinkett Smith skydives in Dubai

Updated 46 min 44 sec ago
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Jada Pinkett Smith skydives in Dubai

DUBAI: Jada Pinkett Smith took to the skies of Dubai to jump out of a plane this week, skydiving in honor of her husband’s 50th birthday.

Will Smith celebrated his big day by bungee jumping from a helicopter in northern Arizona last month in a stunt billed as a leap “in the heart of the Grand Canyon.”

However, the “Fresh Prince” did not jump at Grand Canyon National Park but over a smaller gorge on the Navajo Nation, The Associated Press reported.

For her part, Pinkett Smith decided to go head-to-head with her thrill-seeking husband by skydiving in Dubai.


“He said this is my birthday gift to him. He was like, ‘I want you to come to Dubai and I want to see you skydive. That is what I want for my birthday’,” Pinkett Smith told People magazine. “I was like, ‘Really bro?’ I haven’t done a damn thing Will has wanted me to do in seven years!” she said. “I think for Will, he has always been adventurous. For now, in his life, he has released himself to be more of that. I’m not really adventurous in that way and he has been having his adventures and I told him, ‘These are the years – you’re turning 50, so this is the year of yes for me to you because I’m always telling you no’.”

She shared a photo of herself about to jump out of the plane strapped to a professional skydiver at Sky Dive Dubai on Instagram and captioned it: “Oh…by the way…I jumped out of a plane today.”

She was in the city with her wise-cracking husband, who earlier in the week posted a photo from a bathroom in the iconic Burj Khalifa.

The funnyman, who plays the role of the genie in the upcoming live-action version of “Aladdin,” posted a snap in which he is sitting on a toilet (fully clothed, don’t worry) in a bathroom in the tallest building in the world.

“Sitting on top of the world,” he joked in the caption.

The couple enjoyed a range of activities in Dubai, including a visit to the serene dunes of the city’s surrounding desert, where Pinkett Smith shared an inspirational message in an Instagram video about finding her path and facing feelings of loneliness.

“Thinking of those moments I compromised myself in fear of being alone,” she captioned the video, in which she can be seen wearing a traditional shemagh headpiece wrapped around her head.

The actress also got the chance to spend some quality time with elephants and thanked Dubai’s Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum for the opportunity, captioning a video of the playful animals, “I made a new friend today. I love elephants. They are soooo intelligent. Much love to HRH Sheikh Hamdan @faz3 for this opportunity (sic).”