Monday, November 25, 2013

Pacific sand crab ~ 11/25/13 ~ Asilomar Beach

They look like delicately patterned cracked egg shells. At first, I didn't think these pics were ideal as an ID entry, but it occurred to me that I tend to see the carapaces of sand crabs more often than actual live crabs, which has been late at night while looking for grunion.  Are they nocturnal?  I'm assuming the numerous carapaces are from a mass molt, rather than a mass die-off of sand crabs, but I don't really know. I'm always amazed how the composition of wrack changes through the seasons. Here's a mixture of sand crab carapaces, various red seaweeds, and surf-grass. It's nature's compost by the sea.

ps - In the first photo, directly behind the right carapace, the out-of-focus green surf-grass is covered in pink-colored crusting red algae called Melobesia mediocrus.


Jeannette said...

Would some of this be a good addition to a garden compost pile?

Imperfect and Tense said...

Good point! Animal sign can be just as important as said animal.

And the littoral art is a fantastic idea. Which I will remember for the very near future :o)

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Jeannette, I don't know if it'd be good for the garden. The visual did remind me of my own compost.

Graeme, get some good walking shoes for the beach, ones that keep sand out.