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Giant Crabs Colonize Rome's Ancient Ruins
Italy Magazine/ANSA ^ | 10-28-2005

Posted on 10/28/2005 3:29:13 PM PDT by blam

Giant crabs colonise Rome’s ancient ruins

By Web Editor. Filed under Generalon October 28th, 2005

(ANSA) - A rare species of crab has taken up residence in one of the city’s most important archaeological sites and is not only thriving but also growing to abnormal proportions.

The freshwater crab ‘Potamon fluviatile’ was already known to survive in small numbers in rivers and waterways from Sicily to Tuscany, where it generally grows to a length of about 4 cm.

But according to three zoologists at the Roma 3 university, an isolated colony of the crabs is also doing very well in part of the ancient Roman forum, especially in the Trajan’s Markets area.

In this patch of land, rarely visited by humans and crossed by many tiny rivulets, the crabs are routinely growing 50% bigger than normal. Although the overall size is still not large, experts say it is significant.

“This isolated urban population of crustaceans is giving clear signs of having taken its own evolutionary course,” said Danilo Mainardi, a professor of behavioural ecology at Venice university.

“This is shown most obviously by their growth to giant size.”

The crabs seemed to have adapted very well to their new home, unworried by the nocturnal lighting and noise of buses and cars on the nearby Via dei Fori Imperiali. They apparently suffer a little at the hands of the capital’s many feral cats, pigeons and even rats, who see them as tasty titbits. But all these predators sooner or later die and their corpses in turn become food for the crabs.

Zoologists say the new crab colony in the heart of Rome could turn out to be important for the conservation of the species, which risks dying out in rural waterways. They also say it fits into a more general phenomenon of cities, with their special ecosystems, providing many species of animals with new, but acceptable, habitats. Zoologists report that Rome in particular is now home to all sorts of surprising fauna. Falcons apparently live in the Colosseum, foxes come daily to eat leftovers near the law courts, the Tiber is home to rare species of fish and ducks and Roman parks are a sanctuary to salamanders and beavers.

Zoologist Bruno Cignini has made an inventory of the animals now living in the eternal city. He found six species of amphibians, 15 species of reptiles, 26 species of mammals, 110 species of birds and 15 species of fish.

“Food is easy to get, there are no hunters, the climate is increasingly mild, plus there are 19 protected green areas,” Cignini explained.


TOPICS: Extended News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ancient; colonize; crabs; giant; godsgravesglyphs; romes; ruins
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1 posted on 10/28/2005 3:29:13 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Rome has crabs?


2 posted on 10/28/2005 3:30:14 PM PDT by RichInOC (...oops, did I say that out loud?)
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To: blam

Not crab people again!


3 posted on 10/28/2005 3:30:17 PM PDT by mainepatsfan
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To: blam

Figures...??...oh you meant that kind of crabs


Doogle


4 posted on 10/28/2005 3:30:24 PM PDT by Doogle (USAF...7thAF ..4077th TFW...408th MMS..Ubon Thailand.."69",,Night Line Delivery..AMMO)
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To: blam
Are they edible?
5 posted on 10/28/2005 3:30:48 PM PDT by Redcloak (We'll raise up our glasses against evil forces singin' "whiskey for my men and beer for my horses!")
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To: SunkenCiv; Shermy
GGG Ping.

Thanks to Shermy for the article.

6 posted on 10/28/2005 3:30:53 PM PDT by blam
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To: mainepatsfan

Crab People !

7 posted on 10/28/2005 3:32:46 PM PDT by peyton randolph (Warning! It is illegal to fatwah a camel in all 50 states)
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To: Redcloak

Got butter?


8 posted on 10/28/2005 3:33:17 PM PDT by Dog
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To: blam
re: “This isolated urban population of crustaceans is giving clear signs of having taken its own evolutionary course,” said Danilo Mainardi, a professor of behavioural ecology at Venice university.--------Zoologists say the new crab colony in the heart of Rome could turn out to be important for the conservation of the species, which risks dying out in rural waterways....

I guess a non-evo like me is about the only person to notice the contradiction here.

First, they claim to see the arrival of a new species. Then the praise the circumstances that appear to preserve a species unchanged.

9 posted on 10/28/2005 3:36:31 PM PDT by Mamzelle (.)
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To: blam
They also say it fits into a more general phenomenon of cities, with their special ecosystems, providing many species of animals with new, but acceptable, habitats.

Like 'possums and raccoons in suburban garbage cans.

10 posted on 10/28/2005 3:37:29 PM PDT by caryatid (There are none so blind as those who will not see ...)
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To: blam

A new species? Or just a river crab with street smarts.


11 posted on 10/28/2005 3:38:59 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the law of the excluded middle)
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To: RightWhale

Nice twist!


12 posted on 10/28/2005 3:41:47 PM PDT by Americanwolf (Support the Minutemen Civil Defense Corp...Doing the Job our government won't !)
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To: Dog
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

To heck with butter.

13 posted on 10/28/2005 3:42:12 PM PDT by WideGlide (That light at the end of the tunnel might be a muzzle flash.)
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To: blam

I know a few Romans who are overgrown and REAL crabby.

:^)


14 posted on 10/28/2005 3:44:11 PM PDT by JudyinCanada
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To: blam

15 posted on 10/28/2005 3:52:57 PM PDT by Wiggins
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To: blam
Giant crabs.

Isn't that what is shown in Pompeii's "forbidden frescoes"?
16 posted on 10/28/2005 3:53:21 PM PDT by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: peyton randolph

They did cause the Beavertown flood as well.


17 posted on 10/28/2005 3:55:36 PM PDT by mainepatsfan
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To: EveningStar

ping. Crab people. Crab people.


18 posted on 10/28/2005 3:58:59 PM PDT by dynachrome ("Where am I? Where am I going? Why am I in a handbasket?")
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To: mainepatsfan
They did cause the Beavertown flood as well.

Dang. I was blaming that on global warming. :-)

19 posted on 10/28/2005 4:00:17 PM PDT by peyton randolph (Warning! It is illegal to fatwah a camel in all 50 states)
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To: blam

Given the lifestyles of ancient romans I'm sure many of them had crabs.


20 posted on 10/28/2005 4:03:13 PM PDT by Mrs. Shawnlaw (Rock beats scissors, don't run with rocks. NRA)
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To: blam
Speaking of crabs did the impeached pervert ever allow his blood to be examined before his ticker operation? Man, if you had a vial of that toxic waste you could make a fortune on ebay!
21 posted on 10/28/2005 4:05:31 PM PDT by Brofholdonow
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To: blam
Giant crabs colonise Rome’s ancient ruins....

The freshwater crab ‘Potamon fluviatile’ was already known to survive in small numbers in rivers and waterways from Sicily to Tuscany, where it generally grows to a length of about 4 cm.....

In this patch of land, rarely visited by humans and crossed by many tiny rivulets, the crabs are routinely growing 50% bigger than normal.

The crab grows to a size of 6 cm in length, and they think that is "giant?"

22 posted on 10/28/2005 4:15:35 PM PDT by RedWhiteBlue
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To: blam

Oh, those giant crabs!

I thought this thread was about Clinton's underpants.


23 posted on 10/28/2005 4:21:48 PM PDT by Kiss Me Hardy
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To: RedWhiteBlue
Giant Crabs!
24 posted on 10/28/2005 4:26:08 PM PDT by Yardstick
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To: peyton randolph

I broke the damn!


25 posted on 10/28/2005 4:30:05 PM PDT by mainepatsfan
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To: mainepatsfan
I broke the damn!

I broke the dam!

26 posted on 10/28/2005 4:36:50 PM PDT by peyton randolph (Warning! It is illegal to fatwah a camel in all 50 states)
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To: peyton randolph

No. I literally broke the damn!


27 posted on 10/28/2005 4:46:44 PM PDT by mainepatsfan
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To: WideGlide
Funny you should show Old Bay seasoning.

Salmon fillets were on sale today in NH and I poached 2 KB in a fumet with Old Bay.

My wife has cold salmon for lunch tomorrow.

28 posted on 10/28/2005 6:08:06 PM PDT by billorites (freepo ergo sum)
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To: blam
OH NO! IT'S THE CRAB PEOPLE!


29 posted on 10/28/2005 6:13:00 PM PDT by FierceDraka (The Democratic Party - Aiding and Abetting The Enemies of America Since 1968)
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To: dynachrome; peyton randolph; mainepatsfan
Taste like crab, talk like people
Craaaaab people, craaaab people
30 posted on 10/28/2005 6:16:12 PM PDT by FierceDraka (The Democratic Party - Aiding and Abetting The Enemies of America Since 1968)
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To: blam

31 posted on 10/28/2005 8:53:04 PM PDT by Donald Rumsfeld Fan ("Memos on Bush Are Fake but Accurate". NYTimes)
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To: blam
6cm sized crabs are giants?

Call something a giant whatever only when you cannot crush it with a boot; until then scientists and journalists are just abusing the English language.

32 posted on 10/28/2005 8:58:34 PM PDT by Centurion2000 ((Aubrey, Tx) --- America, we get the best government corporations can buy.)
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To: blam

In Europe, 4 CM is giant?

Ladies, have I got news for you...!!!


33 posted on 10/28/2005 9:00:04 PM PDT by djf (Government wants the same things I do - MY guns, MY property, MY freedoms!)
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To: blam; Shermy; FairOpinion; Ernest_at_the_Beach; StayAt HomeMother; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; asp1; ...
Thanks Blam and Shermy.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

34 posted on 10/28/2005 11:59:38 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (Down with Dhimmicrats! I last updated my FR profile on Sunday, August 14, 2005.)
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To: blam
I see that nefarious XANA is at it again.

I bet no one will get the reference

35 posted on 10/29/2005 3:25:00 AM PDT by CzarNicky (The problem with bad ideas is that they seemed like good ideas at the time.)
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To: Wiggins
There was definitely a subliminal message going out to to all women from the 1950s. If you went around barefoot in a bikini, some monster was eventually going to grab you and then somebody would take your picture and use you in a movie trailer.
36 posted on 10/29/2005 3:33:13 AM PDT by SamAdams76 (What Would Howard Roarke Do?)
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To: blam

Could some of the food be leftover BS spouted by ancient politicians in the Curia?


37 posted on 10/29/2005 3:39:52 AM PDT by R. Scott (Humanity i love you because when you're hard up you pawn your Intelligence to buy a drink.)
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To: blam

Ping for later. Any thread which touches on archeoloy, evolution, and global warming all at the same time will be intersting.


38 posted on 10/29/2005 4:09:59 AM PDT by contemplator (Capitalism gets no Rock Concerts)
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To: blam
LOOK OUT!!! 6cm long GIANT CRABS!!
39 posted on 10/29/2005 4:16:47 AM PDT by wafflehouse (the hell you say!)
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To: blam

I'm not sure I consider 6cm (~2.4") all that "giant."


40 posted on 10/29/2005 4:20:04 AM PDT by Junior (From now on, I'll stick to science, and leave the hunting alien mutants to the experts!)
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To: Mamzelle
First, they claim to see the arrival of a new species.

No they didn't. No mention of new species was ever made. What the researchers were referring to was genetic isolation, which is one of the first steps toward speciation.

Then the praise the circumstances that appear to preserve a species unchanged.

No. They just said the colony in Rome could be important for the conservation of the species. They may have meant that by drawing attention to the crabs the government might take steps to keep the rural populations from dying out too. That's how I read the quote when I first saw it.

41 posted on 10/29/2005 4:25:01 AM PDT by Junior (From now on, I'll stick to science, and leave the hunting alien mutants to the experts!)
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To: blam

A 2-1/2"(6 CM) diameter crab is a giant crab? Right, hold the cocktail sauce


42 posted on 10/29/2005 4:33:30 AM PDT by muir_redwoods (Free Sirhan Sirhan, after all, the bastard who killed Mary Jo Kopechne is walking around free)
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To: blam

Giant ????? 4 cm??????


43 posted on 10/29/2005 5:21:03 AM PDT by Dustbunny (Main Stream Media -- Making 'Max Headroom' a reality.)
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To: Kermit the Frog Does theWatusi; blam

They're going to need some of these.

44 posted on 10/29/2005 5:28:43 AM PDT by HowlinglyMind-BendingAbsurdity
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To: FierceDraka; dynachrome

Great wake up laugh. Thanks. :)


45 posted on 10/29/2005 9:06:49 AM PDT by EveningStar
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To: blam
"Giant Crabs Colonize Rome's Ancient Ruins"

So, the old, worn out Italian whores are infested with large lice. Who'd thunk it.

I Love to go a-wandering...

Valdareeeee,
valdaraw,
valdareeeeee,
valdaraw-ha-ha-ha;
My mattress on my back!

...but Never on Sunday.

46 posted on 10/29/2005 12:27:51 PM PDT by ApplegateRanch (Mohamophages of the world, unite!)
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To: blam
They apparently suffer a little at the hands of the capital’s many feral cats

Haven't been to Rome for many years, but one thing I remember is the surprising number of cats living in the ruins.

47 posted on 10/29/2005 12:36:37 PM PDT by wideminded
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To: Donald Rumsfeld Fan

How do you eat hardshell crabs with chopsticks?


48 posted on 10/29/2005 12:40:51 PM PDT by PLMerite ("Unarmed, one can only flee from Evil. But Evil isn't overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper)
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To: JudyinCanada

Leave my family out of this!

:)


49 posted on 10/29/2005 3:10:36 PM PDT by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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To: BlessedByLiberty

LOL - sorry. Ok. BBL's family off limits.


50 posted on 10/29/2005 4:19:06 PM PDT by JudyinCanada
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