What if what you wore determined if you were eaten or not?

We would all be in trouble, right? Well it’s a good thing we aren’t the decorator crab. In order to disguise themselves from predators, they, as their name may indicate, decorate their shells with whatever they find in their surroundings, resulting in quite the unique style! Can you spot the crab in this photo?

Image: Decorator Crab blending in with their environment

Source: Wikimedia

If you’ve ever found yourself wishing you could blend into the background, you may find yourself a bit jealous of these crabs.

“There are nearly 700 species of decorator crabs around the world—about a dozen of them in California, where they live in tide pools and kelp forests. They camouflage by decorating their heads, or their entire bodies depending on the species, with pieces of seaweed, anemones or other materials around them, which they attach securely to a natural Velcro that grows right on their bodies.” 1

For a closer look at a few of the species of decorator crabs in the world, here’s a quick informational video from  KQED San Francisco presented by PBS!

Via: Deep Look  2

Those are some pretty inventive disguises!

“Decorator crabs demonstrate a remarkably prescient instinct to be able [to] process the information required to successfully camouflage themselves to match their preferred habitat. Unlike the typically fast-scuttling crabs of the mainstream, decorator crabs move at a deliberately slow pace to reduce being noticed. 3

Here’s one species, Leptopsia setirostri, sporting an array of carefully selected zoanthids that are now growing on its exoskeleton! 4” Thanks to Coral Morphologic for creating such stunning footage of underwater life!

Want to see another crab species brandishing a few decorations for their survival?

Here’s a bonus! Meet the Lybia Crab (aka the pom-pom crab or cheerleader crab!) who is always grasping and waving around two anemones that assist in catching food and fending off predators!  6

So, as you choose your next outfit, rest assure that whatever you do or don’t decide to put on your body won’t doom you to being scooped up as a birds dinner.
–Sam
“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world” – Robin Williams 

This world is chock-full of some pretty cool creatures!

Discover more of them by clicking on the button below.

Animals on EWC

Oh, and make sure you subscribe to stay up to date with all of the amazing parts of the world!

Notes:

  1. Quirós, Gabriela. “Decorator Crabs Make High Fashion at Low Tide.” KQED Science. KQED Science, 09 May 2017. Web. 28 Dec. 2017. <https://ww2.kqed.org/science/2017/05/09/decorator-crabs-make-high-fashion-at-low-tide/>.
  2. KQEDDeepLook. “Decorator Crabs Make High Fashion at Low Tide | Deep Look.” YouTube. Deep Look, 09 May 2017. Web. 28 Dec. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwQcv7TyX04>.
  3. “‘The Florist’.” Vimeo. Coral Morphologic, 12 Apr. 2010. Web. 28 Dec. 2017. <https://vimeo.com/10860444>
  4. “‘The Florist’.” Vimeo. Coral Morphologic, 12 Apr. 2010. Web. 28 Dec. 2017. <https://vimeo.com/10860444>
  5. “‘The Florist’.” Vimeo. Coral Morphologic, 12 Apr. 2010. Web. 28 Dec. 2017. <https://vimeo.com/10860444>
  6. S, Kacee. “8 Facts About the Pom-Pom Crab.” PADI. PADI, 14 May 2015. Web. 28 Dec. 2017. <http://www2.padi.com/blog/2015/05/14/facts-about-the-pom-pom-crab/>.
  7. “Pom Pom Crab Dance.” YouTube. Rendogpico, 29 May 2011. Web. 28 Dec. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKMxRBYQs5k>.

Samantha Burns

Executive Assistant, Staff Writer

Samantha is a listener, creator, collector of knick knacks and lover of most, if not all, types of cheese.