The Cool House: Crab Flip

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Crab Flip

Either you find beauty in the washed up remains of shellfish or you don't. I do, I love the carapaces of crustaceans - especially when they are intact, but if you found the Dead Man's Fingers gross I guess these won't find favor. But if you stay just a moment longer, maybe I can persuade you that the Horseshoe Crab is an extraordinary animal?

A living fossil, older than the dinosaurs, they shed their hard shells and can regenerate lost limbs; they have ten eyes and spawn at the new and full moon and they just might be reincarnated Samurai warriors. But perhaps you're a quibbler who needs to remind me that the Horseshoe crab isn't really a crab at all, it's an Arthropod - a relative of spiders, scorpions and ticks.

Maybe you'd feel more comfortable if we stuck to true crabs, the ones we like to eat as soft shell crabs after they molt and leave behind the empty exoskeleton? Like the Lady Crab or

the Blue Crab or

perhaps the aggressive invader - the Japanese Shore Crab?

Just a few of the species on the Long Island shore providing dinner for the gulls.


ethan@OPC said...

I enjoy eating crabs..... I guess it's not quite the same.

Nadine @ BDG said...

Your post reminds me of when I saw horseshoe crabs mating on a beach in Northport-- fascinating and definitely not something you see every day.