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    Fascinating Squat Urchin Shrimp in HD Video

    The Squat Urchin shrimp (Gnathophylloides mineri) is a fascinating invert that most aquarists would glance over or never see. This is not the case with Coral Morphologic’s latest HD video showing the ornate animal among the branches of its host urchin. At just milimeters in length Colin and Jared give a unique macro view of this […]

    The Squat Urchin shrimp (Gnathophylloides mineri) is a fascinating invert that most aquarists would glance over or never see. This is not the case with Coral Morphologic’s latest HD video showing the ornate animal among the branches of its host urchin.

    At just milimeters in length Colin and Jared give a unique macro view of this animal as it lives in its own sustainable and incredibly efficient Sea Urchin world. Here’s what the Morpholic guys have to say about it:

    The squat urchin shrimp is very small, reaching no more than 6mm in length, and orients itself parallel with the spines making it all but invisible and protected from a would-be-predator. Often colonies of up to half a dozen squat urchin shrimp of varying sizes will all share the same urchin. Beyond its circumtropical distribution and perfect camouflage, the squat urchin shrimp further demonstrates its successfulness by feeding upon the epidermal tissue of the very spines that grant it protection.

    This is a relatively benign form of parasitism that doesn’t seem to bother the urchin. These shrimp will also feed opportunistically upon detritus that the urchin picks up as it moves along the sea floor. The squat urchin shrimp is a creature that has found a near perfect niche in a truly self-sustaining, self-contained world of spines.

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