A Giant Among Crayfish
This gallery is part of a special National Geographic News series on global water issues.
The next crayfish boil in Shoal Creek, Tennessee, could be a big one. Scientists working there have found a new species of crayfish that is meatier than all of its competitors.
Barbicambarus simmonsi is nearly 5 inches long—almost twice the size of a typical crayfish found in the region.
Aquatic biologists from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Eastern Kentucky University found the unusual new species hiding under rocks in a deep part of the creek. Species of the Barbicambarus genus have uncommon "bearded" antennae covered with fine bristles that enhance their sensory capacity.
The new species is described in a paper in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington.
Photos: New Giant "Bearded" Crayfish Species
Scientists have found a unique new species of crayfish in Tennessee and Alabama that is twice the size of other crayfish in the southeastern U.S.