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News Release 15-118

Warming Antarctic waters may allow king crabs to "restructure" ecosystems

New study predicts that crabs could repopulate shallows of continental shelf

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A king crab in antarctic waters. If the shell-crushing predators, return to the antarctic continental shelf, researchers have concluded they will likely disrupt the existing ecosystem, where animals have no defense against them.

Credit: NSF/Allison Randolph, FIT


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Seastars

Slow-moving invertebrates like these sea stars are currently the top predators in the ecosystem that king crabs seem poised to populate are

Credit: Richard B. Aronson, Florida Institute of Technology


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Brittlestars

Brittlestars are among the invertebrates living on the continental slope and shelf off Antarctica that are vulnerable to predators.

Credit: Richard B. Aronson and James B. McClintock


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