Bilbo Bag­gins shrimp

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - WILDNEWS - SOURCE Read the ZooKeys ar­ti­cle: zookeys.pen­­ti­cle/25277/el­e­ment/7/odon­to­nia-bag­ginsi/


This stumpy lit­tle crus­tacean, less than a cen­time­tre long, is dis­tin­guished by the plen­ti­ful hairs adorn­ing its walk­ing legs. It has been named Odon­to­nia bag­ginsi af­ter the fa­mous hairy-footed Hob­bit.


Col­lected off the is­land of Ti­dore in In­done­sia, it was found liv­ing in­side the body of a sea squirt – ap­pro­pri­ately bi­jou ac­com­mo­da­tion for a Hob­bit. It’s not yet known what the crus­tacean feeds on or whether it pro­vides its host with any favours in re­turn for shel­ter. Bilbo’s neme­sis Smaug the dragon is al­ready hon­oured in the sci­en­tific names of African gir­dled lizards, a Patag­o­nian shield bug and a Mada­gas­can ant.

This hairy­footed ‘Hob­bit’ has swapped Bag End for a sea squirt.

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