Sunday, August 02, 2009

Kermit Was Wrong

This blue crab has been through the ringer. His claws (chelipeds) are gone and he's missing a few walking legs and a swimmerette too.

Here's how we know he's a HE.
See that skinny abdomen folded up on his underside?
Females have a wide, more triangular shaped abdomen.

He can regenerate those parts after a sequence of molts, but in the meantime he is really at a survival disadvantage.

Kermit thought it wasn't easy being green, this crab shows it's alot tougher being blue.


lisa said...

That is pretty neat!!

Miz S said...

Hey! Blue crabs! Finally, something that I have some background knowledge on, being from Mary-land and all.

Ericka said...

will his journey end in your kitchen?

Pablo said...

And you just come upon these things in your rambles? I think you're charmed.

edifice rex said...

Well, I would think he's a he because that design on his underside looks just like a...uh.. well, you know. Hhmm, am I the only one that sees that? I need to get out more.

Anonymous said...

No Rex, I don't think you're the only one! My mind went there too.

Where did you find him?


Caroline said...

A reading unit I taught several years ago involved an environmental mystery set in the Chesapeake Bay. You can't get much farther from that habitat than the prairies of South Dakota, so I developed a whole picture vocab. and poster project based on that ecosystem. One thing we discovered, and that helped the kids remember such details was...given that the Chesapeake is near Washington, DC, the male crabs look like the Washington monument on their bottom side and females look like the Capitol bldg. It helps distracting middle schoolers from the obvious other "structural" connections if you hope to do any relevant teaching. :o)

robin andrea said...

What did you do with him? Take him home where he could safely rehabilitate?

Floridacracker said...

There is always something neat crawling around a saltmarsh!

Miz S,
Heck, that's Callinectes mecca.

Not this time. He was just passing by and I wasn't in predation mode this day.

It's the salt marsh that's charmed, not me. Life in incredible abundance my friend. Nothing shy of a coral reef even comes close.

Annie and Patti,
LOL! I didn't see that at all. I do now of course!

And those middle schoolers ARE so EASILY distracted! LOL! I bet that was an excellent unit.

If I had, as soon as he had molted enough to regrow those claws he would have eaten everything in my aquariums. The blue crab is waaay aggressive.