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New Shellfish Found on Okinawa’s Main Island

Date Posted: 2004-03-19

A rare seashell has been discovered living in the tideland marshes of Awase on Okinawa. The Awase Tideland Environment Study Committee found the species locally during a research project.

The crab shell had been believed to live only in Ishigaki Island and Iriomote Island in the Yaeyamas. Committee Chairman Hiroyu Yamashita says “it’s the type of shell that there are very few of anoywhere on earth.” He believes Awase’s marshlands are the last survival place for the species.

Yamashita says “this very special shell is parasitic to crabs, and the tideland life study committee has found 13 of the shells.” He notes there are only two kinds of shells that are parasitic to crabs in Japan.

“It’s a really special ecological find,” Yamashita notes, pledging “if there is damage to shells because of manmade lands, I’ll protect the shell from disappearing from this earth.”

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