Saturday, July 21, 2007

Strange Beach Creatures Part 1

We are back from our expedition with several strange creatures to share.

First up is this little crab. We found him on one of our morning walks when we weren't even looking for creatures, just coffee. He was about the size of a quarter with these cool little markings on his back that looked like a face.

At first I thought this wouldn't be such a hard species to identify. It seemed to me that crabs with faces on their backs would pop up all over Google. I was mistaken. No faced-backed crabs came up on any searches.

Then it got exciting. What if we discovered a new species?? Would we get to name it? Could it be named after me?? The ian-crab or maybe crabian! Crabian could pose for all the crab romance novel covers.

After a more extensive search I believe what we discovered were strange markings on a not so strange crab. In photos found on Google, the columbus crab (also sometimes called the turtle crab, sargassum crab or the gulf weed crab) appears very similar to our crab with the large white marking (which looks like the mouth on our crab) being fairly common. The two dots (which look like eyes) makes this little crab special and worthy of today's strange animal posting.

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