Sunday, September 7, 2008

Crabs with lost limbs

I went back to the South Cottesloe beach again today when the tide was low. I explored the part of the rocky shore that was usually inundated and simply can't be accessed easily.

As I was taking photos of the crabs, I noticed that more than half of the crabs that I saw have lost at least one of their limbs. That's interesting.

Crab 1: Lost one limb on the left side of the body
(It was upside down when I spotted it.)

Crab 2: Lost one limb on the left side and two on the right side!

Crab 3: Lost one limb on the right side.

Crab 4: Lost half of the limbs it had! And for your information, it was still moving and alive - though I wonder how much longer it could stay that way.

I have seen crabs so many times on the beach but only started to notice the ones with lost limbs at Coral Bay. I first noticed that some crabs were so slow to flee and so easy to photograph - soon I realised that those were the ones which have lost one or more of their limbs. The next few photos were taken at Coral Bay.

Crab 5: Only one limb on the left side was missing.

Crab 6: The big claw was gone.

Crab 7: Also the big claw was missing.

Well, next time, when you see a crab on the beach, check if their limbs are all intact. And if they have lost a limb or two, it probably won't be too long before they regenerate new ones. Some websites and this one say that it is common for crabs to self-amputate their limbs to get away from predators and the lost limbs can be regenerated!

Wow! How ignorant of me - I always thought that only sea stars and lizards can do that. Obviously both crabs and lobsters can regenerate a limb too.

By the way, even though they were physically impaired, they still looked beautiful.


Mosura said...

Crab 4 is a bit of a worry.

Spiders can also regenerate if they lose a limb but only if they lose it while young. Each time it moults the limb will be a little larger.

Stick insects can do the same and not doubt some other insects too.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Chai
Very colourful aren't they?

Sharif said...

hmm...nice again!