Marine Biology

Crab Profile Spiky Stone Crab



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What is the crab your mostly likely to be on Australia’s continental shelf? The spiky stone crab. This diminutive crab is exactly what the name implies. Spiky. The little critter is small, with light colored legs tucked beneath his larger pink body. His shell is encased with little spiky thorns, uncomfortable to touch. But then again, that’s sort of the point. If any predator where to make a grab for this crab, it is unlikely they would get very far. In fact they probably wouldn’t even attempt it. One look at the little crab would show it is too much trouble to eat.

This crabs Latin name is Actaea peronii. As a crab, it is an invertebrate, which means it has no backbone. All of its bones are on the outside, apart of its shell. However, whats significant in this invertebrates bones is its spiky shell. The crab developed it during adaptation, and it is what makes this animal special. Few predators can eat this crab because of its spiny appendages. It would be like biting into a thorn bush. Or, an Anemone, which would sting. Both equally undesirable.

Another adaptation of the crab would be its light to brighter pink color. Most animals use their coloring to either look like their environment or another animal. The Spiky stone crab is no exception. Its coloring makes it look like a piece of coral or anemone growing on the ocean floor, easy to pass by. Its pale brown legs blend seamlessly with the sand beneath their spiky legs. This adaptation makes them virtually undetectable. This is why the spiky crab naturally has few predators that hunt them. They are hard to see, and if detected, they would not exactly be a yummy meal with their hard spiky shell. This of course, is exactly what the crab wanted all along. Just be left alone, hunting in the Australian continental shelf is fine for him.

Like most crabs, the Spiky stone crab lives like a scavenger. He eats what he can find around him. He will eat decomposing fish, oysters, whatever he can get his little claws on. It doesn’t have to bet tasty, this little crab will eat almost anything. And with his adaptation, he can. He's free to hunt and move to his little crab desires. So long as a predator cant get past his spiky shell, he is good. For now, The spiky stone crab is seemingly invincible, except for maybe fisherman.

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