03 March 2010

New crab described from Chek Jawa

Thanks to a post by Sivasothi on the Raffles Museum News blog, I learnt today that a new crab has been described from Chek Jawa.
To me, this crab symbolises two things that are very special.

Firstly its name Tritodynamia yeoi honours Mr Yeo Keng Loo, curator of Crustacea at the Raffles Museum, who suddenly passed away in 2008.

A gentle soul who touched many lives, we were deeply shocked and saddened to hear of his sudden passing. Here is our last photo of him as he took the team out to Raffles Lighthouse.Here's the team's tribute to him, and more on the RMBR news blog. It is indeed fitting that the crab should bear his name, as he is "an accomplished and dedicated field collector and he also collected the present specimen during a survey of Pulau Ubin."

The other special aspect is that the crab was collected from Chek Jawa during a Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research salvage operation on 21 Aug 01. This was before the Chek Jawa reclamation was deferred. How fortunate that the reclamation was deferred. Thus the home of this newly described crab remains unharmed!

It takes a lot of work and much time to sort out new species. Sadly, shores are often lost more rapidly than we can learn about them. It is thus important to keep learning as much as we can while we can.

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