Thursday, June 17, 2010
Attack of the killer crabs
And no, I don't mean those type of crabs. I mean the type of that pinch.
This weekend, Jennifer decided to join me down on the Des Moines Beach for my first Beach Naturalist shift of the year. It was also the lowest tide of the year. And while there was the usual crowd of moon snails about, we we're seeing much else unusual until I saw what I thought was a detached red rock crab shell buried in the mud.
So we squatted down by the shell and carefully tried to extract it from the sand. The crab attached to the shell was not amused. It exploded out of the sand, pinchers drawn and Jennifer and I both almost fell backwards with the yelp.
As an aside, red rock crabs have powerful pinchers and are very aggressive in you get in their face. This guy def. felt we were in his face. And so did his buddies.
IN the red rock crab world, the boys like to hang the the boys and the gals with the gals, until mating season of course. And so when we disturbed this guy, all his buddies erupted out of the sand too. It was a bit like a 1950s horror movie. And Jennifer, who was wearing only flip flops, did little yelps as she tried to dodge miffed crabs who were making a run for the water.
So we provided entertainment for both my fellow naturalists and the crowd that gathered to see what all the shouting was about.