In the midst of a sea of cray and cod, the new species of crays are on a roll.
The crayfish that evolved to eat cray was first found in the Caribbean in 2005 and has since spread around the world, including in Australia and New Zealand.
This is the first species that has been found in Australia, which has been calling it cray.
“This is the only one that we know of in Australia,” Dr Gao says.
“It’s an unusual species because they are very unusual in their eating behaviour, but they’re actually quite good for the environment.”
But it’s not the only unusual thing about this new species.
It’s called the cray-cray and it has no claws.
Crayfish are not crustaceans and are considered an invasive species.
“We know it is an invasive fish, but it has got a lot of other unique adaptations, including the ability to eat anything, including fish,” Dr Gill says.
She says it’s a “little bit unusual”, but not surprising, given the crays’ tendency to eat plankton, and the fact they have been around for more than 200 million years.
Dr Gano says there are two things that make this species special.
The first is that they’re only found in water, which is a very rare find in Australian waters.
“There’s nothing else that is in the water,” she says.
This water is typically about 100 metres deep, but Dr Gannon says the species is likely to have been swimming in it for a long time.
“The cray is an excellent swimmer and can swim up to 400 metres,” she said.
“They’re quite good swimmers, but you need to be aware of them because they will attack anything that moves.”
She says the second thing that makes this species unusual is its body size.
“These crayfishes are a little bit larger than cray,” Dr Gillespie says.
It has been recorded as being about 1.8 metres long, and it weighs between two and three kilograms.
Dr Gillespie and Dr Gill say there are three things they’re hoping to do with this species.
First, to find out more about what the species eats, so they can work out how much protein it needs to survive.
“So this is going to be a major step towards understanding this fish,” she adds.
“Then, in terms of the evolution of this species, there’s going to have to be some kind of adaptation that enables the crrayfish to become a predator.”
We’re looking forward to working with other groups and people who are interested in the crayanetes to see if they can find any more cray fossils, and if there are other species that are similar.
And it’s one of the few cray fishes to eat worms, which could have contributed to their development of the colon. “
What we know from studies is that it is a highly nutritious food for the crane,” Dr Tzouli says.
And it’s one of the few cray fishes to eat worms, which could have contributed to their development of the colon.
Dr TZouli is now working with the Australian Research Council’s Ocean Discovery Program to identify other cray species and put them on display.
He says it could help researchers to understand how marine life is evolving in the oceans.
“By looking at these different species, we can get a better idea of how ocean organisms are changing and we can look at the impact that this change has on the ecosystems around us,” he says.
The research was funded by the Australian Government.
Dr Gill is now hoping to continue to work with other scientists to see what other crays might be eating in the ocean, to understand what the impacts of climate change will be on them.
“If we can work with scientists to figure out how these cray animals are eating, and whether that’s going in the right direction, we might have a better understanding of how we can help this species,” she concludes.