Jan 27, 2008

Crustacean Life

Ida sent me this video of one of my favorite crustaceans: the Christmas Island Red Crab. Though these terrestrial crabs live on only two islands in the Indian Ocean, there are estimated to be around 120 million of them. This video is proof.

They are famous for their annual migration, when they emerge from their lairs to head towards the sea to breed. What's interesting is that the early records from the human inhabitants on this island hardly ever mention these crabs. It's quite possible that the extinction of the native Maclear's rat (around 1903), which would have dined on the crabs, caused their population boom.

But don't worry. A new predator has emerged to contend with the crab. The yellow crazy ant is believed to have killed more than 15 million of them in recent years. Such are the vagaries and vicissitudes of crustacean life.





Christmas Island Red Crabs - Funny video clips are a click away

10 comments:

Jade said...

Awesome video! I'd love to see that in person.

Sonya said...

Are those things not edible? I just keep seeing thousands of crab dinners on the hoof...!

Jim P said...

that video puts the overload in ugly-overload. i think i'd go insane if i lived there, wouldn't those baby crabs be crawling all over you while you slept?

meg said...

I think the adult migration would be tolerable, if not a bit annoying...the babies though...not so much in the tolerable department. I think I'd conveniently "visit relatives" every year for the holidays if I lived there.

Theodosia said...

I've seen footage of the big crab migration, but never seen the returning babies, which seem a whole lot more annoying! Not to mention giving you the complete heebie-jeebies!

Anonymous said...

*skeeve*skeeve*skeeve*

OMG! That is awful. I can feel little baby crabs crawling all over me...

I would MOVE ::yesterday::

Jack Ruttan said...

Gosh, I'm sure it was a lot easier for them before we got in the way. I mean, we've only got the whole world, while they've got their one little island.

/end eco-lecture

Jack Ruttan said...

Mind you, I'm sure to them we're just another larger kind of crazy ant.

Hah! I've got no visual verification. That weeds out them durned liberruls.

Victorya said...

Love the kitty at the end, obvy they seem harmless enough, if a little icky to think of hundreds of them crawling on me at night while I try to sleep.

I am, however, with Sonja. I'd be out side with a tub of butter and garlic. Those crabs would just crawl in by themselves.

JMorgan said...

Aww, what cute little baby crabs! I'd hate to step on the little guys. I suppose, though, that the casualties are important in controlling the population... can you imagine an island that size inhabited by billions of crabs?