Saturday, December 5, 2015

Nature’s Sand Artist: Sand Bubbler Crab

In sandy beaches of certain tropical regions in the Indo-Pacific live a tiny crab, about a centimeter across, called the “sand bubbler crab” of the genera Scopimera and Dotilla in the family Dotillidae. These tiny crustaceans have spherical bodies with long and flat pinchers, hairy legs, and eyes on short stalks which can fold away into grooves when the crabs scurries into its burrow. With a body color same as sand, the crabs are easy to miss. What’s unmissable however are the intricate patterns they make on the beach when they search for food. Like tiny galaxies, these patterns are composed of hundreds of tiny sand balls —sometimes thousands, depending on how many fellows were snacking.

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