terror among the bathers. “They move in groups”

Terror on the beach, among the swimmers, for a real invasion of the water by some tiny ones animals that devour the skin. They have already called them ‘mini sharks’ or ‘mini piranhas’, but these are improper nicknames, since they are very small crustaceans, less than a centimeter long, but capable of moving in huge groups and above all of hurting those who swim in sea.

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The invasion and terror on the beach

The scientific name of these crustaceans, which can move together in thousands, is Excirolana chiltoni. They are a well-known species, generally moving along the west coast of the United States. And it is precisely in California that the invasion of the waters by these animals is creating various problems. Equipped with small but very powerful jaws, these tiny crustaceans mainly injure the feet of bathers, with consequences that can range from simple bleeding to the feeling of discomfort in the following hours.

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The witness

San Diego resident Tara Sauvage was among the swimmers who were attacked by these animals. “It was very painful, I immediately jumped out of the water and my feet were full of blood” – the woman’s testimony – “A terrible sensation, it was as if tiny piranhas attacked me.”

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The role of Excirolana chiltoni

Ryan Hechinger, a professor at the Scripps Oceanographic Institute, described the behavior of these animals that are terrorizing swimmers. «They do not disdain fresh meat and for this reason they can also attack man. But they play an important role within the ecosystem “- explains the scientist -” Generally they look for dying or dead animals, in particular fish, along the coasts. For the ecosystem they are important because they chew and devour dead fish that would otherwise rot in the environment ».

Last updated: Thursday 8 September 2022, 07:32



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