Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A load of Crabs!

NAKED facts about some crabs you are likely to come across

Rocky shore crabs
Commonly seen on Sentosa's rocky shores are the Red-eyed reef crab (Eriphia smithi) left and the Purple climber crab (Metopograpsus sp.) right. But they are usually only active at night. They have sharp pointy claws on their legs to grip slippery rocks.

Teddybears of the shore
Hairy crabs
(Pilumnus sp.) are quite common among coral rubble. They have a coat of silky hairs all over their bodies and legs. In the water, these fluff up and trap sediments, camouflaging them perfectly.
Eggs NOT for eating!
The Red egg crab (Atergatis integerrimus) on the left is more commonly seen than the Brown egg crab (Atergatis floridus) on the right. In fact the Brown egg crab is listed among the threatened animals of Singapore. Both crabs are highly poisonous and contain toxins which are not destroyed by cooking. Since other animals don't particularly want to eat this crab, it is slow moving and doesn't really bother to hide.
Swimming crabs (Family Portunidae)
These often colourful crabs have paddle-shaped last legs. These legs rotate like boat propellers allowing the crabs to swim quite fast. They have long pincers to snag fast moving prey like fish.

Hints for Naked Hermit Crabs

Crabs PINCH! And some can pinch hard enough to draw blood. Don't touch them.

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