Scientists search out Portland's mysterious 'Stumptown scud' - KPTV - FOX 12

Scientists search out Portland's mysterious 'Stumptown scud'

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A zoo-supported DNA study is helping scientists learn more about the "Stumptown scud," — a mysterious, shrimp-like creature whose entire population lives in and around the City of Roses. (Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo) A zoo-supported DNA study is helping scientists learn more about the "Stumptown scud," — a mysterious, shrimp-like creature whose entire population lives in and around the City of Roses. (Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo)
Sporting a curled golden shell and long antennae, the “Stumptown scud” — a freshwater crustacean endemic to the Portland area — resembles a cross between a prawn and a potato bug. (Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo) Sporting a curled golden shell and long antennae, the “Stumptown scud” — a freshwater crustacean endemic to the Portland area — resembles a cross between a prawn and a potato bug. (Photo by Michael Durham, courtesy of the Oregon Zoo)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

You may not know it – but there's a tiny species that only lives in Portland.

The mysterious, shrimp-like creatures nicknamed the "Stumptown scud" have caught the attention of researchers at Oregon State University and the Oregon Zoo.

The scuds sport a curled golden shell and long antennae and resemble a cross between a prawn and a potato bug. 

The entire population of the crustaceans lives in and around the Rose City and helps keep waterways clean by processing dead and decaying material.

Scientists are deciding if conservation planning is needed for the species. Because they are smaller than a pinky nail, scientists are studying them by collecting water around where they live and then testing it for their DNA.

After their research, they will decide if steps need to be taken to save the species.

"This is the first time anyone has ever studied this organism, so we don't know how they correlate to the health of the ecosystem," said OSU research associate William Gerth. "The data we're collecting now will help us track changes in the Stumptown scud's population, and we hope our study will help management agencies protect this species."

The Oregon Zoo posted a video about the study on their YouTube channel Wednesday.

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