Ghost Crabs

Last weekend was spent tracking Ghost Crabs. Real crabs called Ghost Crabs. I followed one, it was difficult because his pale sandy colored coat and his speed kept me confused. Each time I would focus and zoom in, he would scurry off diagonally. It was difficult keeping pace with him and his speed of 10 miles per hour (4.5 m/s). It was his vertical, cylindrical eyes that helped me spot him each time. The eyes have sharp 360degree vision, which help them spot flying insects and catch them mid-air.


I found it interesting to watch him build his home, the tiny one would throw out sand from the hole almost equal to his weight and then would settle down below. I waited for a while for it to come out to wet its gill to obtain oxygen. It never resurfaced, probably it must have exited through another hole.



I searched in vain for a female one with its egg sac as they frequent the water more often to keep the eggs wet. Most of them were tiny probably still in their baby stages. The sun was about to set and I wished it was a full moon night, the beach at Karaikal, Tamil Nadu would have been then filled with these tiny Ghost Crabs scuttling across facing the moon.

I wish all my readers A Very Happy and Safe 2010.

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