my new favorite animal.

The Ghost Crab.

Likely a crustacean you haven’t given much thought to, but the ghost crab, also known as a sand crab, is a pretty darn nifty little thing.  First of all, their eyes pop up out of their bodies just so, and can see 360 degrees at once.  Limitation:  They can’t see above their heads.  Other tricks: They are quite the disappearing act– they can disappear in fractions of a second hence their popular nickname, “ghost crab.” Interesting to note: one of their front pincher-thingies (yes, that’s the technical term) is bigger than the other.   Another trick, which I personally bore witness too on the sandy shores of Virginia Beach, they can get up on their haunches to appear bigger to their rivals.  This is shown in the photo above. Rarely does male to male combat end in contact, but it is highly ritualized according to something I read on the internet. I did a little researching to suss out a little more about the crabby critter.  Turns out, they also have one more trick up their claws: while mating, the males release a fluid that hardens to prevent their rivals’ sperm from reaching the ova.  Oooh la la!

All hail the ghost crab.

The ghost crab is said to get its common name from its ability to disappear so quickly from sight. (Terry K. Ross/Flickr)

image courtesy of ChesapeakeBay.Net

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