Sunday, March 8, 2009

Crab in the bryozoans

Just like humans, animals start hiding during a very hot afternoon. Especially when the tide recedes living the intertidal creatures exposed to dessication and direct radiation from the sun.

Today at Pasir Ris, I found out another hiding place for a thunder crab.

Bryozoans (Phylum Bryozoa) are colonies of minute individual animals which build a calcium carbonate casing around itself. Thus, they are hard which are unlike their lookalike moss or algae.

Interestingly, a bryozoan compound is part of the drug bryostatin which is being tested as an anti-cancer drug.

More about bryozoans in Wild fact sheets.

A closer look at bryozoans reveal a thunder crab (Myomenippe hardwickii) within and a beaten up sand star (Astropecten indicus). Did the thunder crab just feasted on the sand star?

Thunder crab eyes are cute because they are bright green circled with red.

A closeup of bryozoans.

On the shore nearer to the mangroves are other crabs that seem to be not so affected by the hot sun. And they are the fiddler crabs. Among the many, there are two which look really pretty.

Like this one with blue carapace and orange legs.

This huge yellow and white clawed fiddler crab found by Mei Lin must be one of the biggest clawed fiddler crab I've ever seen. :-)

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