As A Spider Crab Molts It Doesn’t See The Predator Lurking Nearby
Now, I’m not a big fan of crustaceans, that is of course, unless they’re on my plate with some butter and lemon juice, I kinda felt a little sorry for the little guy in the video below. All he wanted to do was get out of his old shell and slip into something a little more comfortable, so he wasn’t paying attention to the stingray lurking nearby, who was waiting for just the right moment to pounce, when the crab was at his most vulnerable.
Well, that’s how nature works sometimes, out in the wild, there is no such thing as “fair” and “unfair”. either you’re a predator, or you’re prey and that just how things work, no matter how you “feel” about it, it’s kill or be killed.
This information comes from afsc.noaa.gov:
Crabs (and other crustaceans) cannot grow in a linear fashion like most animals. Because they have a hard outer shell (the exoskeleton) that does not grow, they must shed their shells, a process called molting. Just as we outgrow our clothing, crabs outgrow their shells. Prior to molting, a crab reabsorbs some of the calcium carbonate from the old exoskeleton, then secretes enzymes to separate the old shell from the underlying skin (or epidermis). Then, the epidermis secretes a new, soft, paper-like shell beneath the old one. This process can take several weeks.
A day before molting, the crab starts to absorb seawater, and begins to swell up like a balloon. This helps to expand the old shell and causes it to come apart at a special seam that runs around the body. The carapace then opens up like a lid. The crab extracts itself from its old shell by pushing and compressing all of its appendages repeatedly. First it backs out, then pulls out its hind legs, then its front legs, and finally comes completely out of the old shell. This process takes about 15 minutes.