Monday, September 11, 2006
You could hear these guys rustling through the marshgrass, long before your eyes registered the moving crustacean carpet. These fiddler crabs are great at transforming detritus from the marsh grasses into crab flesh, which of course, winds up as bird flesh, fish flesh, and even blogger flesh.
Here's a little closer look at the crabby current that flowed across the mud and into the safety of the marsh grass. The sheer volume of these guys was incredible, but not unusual. Around Florida in healthy marshes, you can find these same crabs in similar numbers.
The crab above is a male. The males have one greatly enlarged claw for attracting females and shoving around other males. Male fiddlers will stand at the entrance of their muddy burrows waving their big claws at any female crab that walks by.
The female crab above has two small claws which makes it easy to distinguish her from the large-clawed males. She's a cutie and probably gets her share of big claw waves from the males.
Off topic: I am aware of the date and since my views on September 11th have not changed, I have chosen not to repeat them. For the curious, they are in the September 2005 archives.