Jun 15, 2006

Biological Erratum

It's tough getting old--the first thing to go is the grey matter.

I almost forgot (I ALWAYS forget some little thing or other that I was struggling to remember to blog about, every single time I blog) to tell you guys something kinda fun to do while at the beach: go crab chasing. Not hunting, because there's not all that much sport involved. Chasing I said, and chasing I meant. You see, crabs, especially those little tiny white ghost crabs I mentioned earlier spend all their daylight hours down small, dark holes. And I've found out what they do down those small, dark holes all day. They drink triple espressos. All day. And at night they come out and they try desperately to burn off all that stored up coffee energy by tearing around the nighttime beach like tiny white V-2 rockets.

And I managed to catch a few last night.

You'd be amazed how much effort a crab whose little square white body is the size of one joint of your thumb can put into equally tiny white pincers. Made me almost holler aloud.

And the other cool thing is that the little sand-coloured crabs, the ones that bury themselves up to their eyestalks in the wet sand down in the surf? You can stalk those too, which is more of a sport because they're almost impossible to find, since they're entirely sand-coloured and prone to hiding in the sand, buried except for their sand-coloured eyes. They're spawing sometime soon, so all the females were very obvious without even having to flip them over, because their bikini-bottom-shaped shell flaps are stuck wide open, filled with clusters of tiny yellow eggs. And for a crab whose entire body, legs and all can fit comfortably in the palm of your hand they have an astoundingly strong set of pincers, which they are not affraid to use, even when you're trying to free one from a shell-net after it's been successfully stalked and dug out of her sand castle. And that DID make me holler aloud.

And yes, you just read a five minute post whose only intent was to tell you that there's two kinds of neat crabs on the beach; one sand-coloured aquatic kind and one white-coloured dry land kind, and that representatives of each species both pinched the tee-total CRAP out of my hand last night, both on the same finger. And the question of how in the heck a tiny creature like that can produce so dang much force from tiny little muscles and tiny little bits of exoskeleton?

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