Vampire Crabs are thought to represent the preliminary stage of a crab invasion force.
Pouncing on humans as they sleep in their beds, the tiny crabs make incisions with their claws and feast on mammalian blood. This has the effect not only of physically weakening the chief enemy of crustacean machinations, but victims are also infected by a pathogen which, in time, increases their emotional and psychological affinity with crabs.
Thus, the way is paved for giant crabs of the deep to rise up and, with their human co-conspirators, take over the world.
You have to admit, it's wonderful that something so adorable can be so smart!
I love the crabs!
Love the crabs...
Until then, let's look at crabs of the genus Geosesarma. There are about 50 species, at least a few of which are commonly known as Vampire Crabs. I don't know how often the entire group gets called by that name, but I reckon we can go with it. The crabs don't care; we'll be calling them "master" soon enough and that's all that matters.
|Image: Bernard DUPONT|
Vampire Crabs are either terrestrial or amphibious. Some spend their time under stones and logs, far away from any lakes or rivers. Can you imagine turning up a stone to see glowing, yellow eyes peering up at you as centipedes and beetles escape into the darkness?
These creepy beggars are known as Red Devil Crabs. They're so sweet!
Other Vampires live close to streams and may spend their days sheltering in burrows deep enough to be half flooded with water. As night falls they climb out of their crypt, visit the land of the living and kill a bit of it.
Vampire Crabs don't drink blood. Not specifically, anyway. Like a lot of other crabs, they're extremely omnivorous. They'll eat all sorts of plant material but what they really like is meat. They will gladly pounce on tiny insects, crush them a little in their claws and then tear off tiny bits of their still living body.
|Image: Meg Lauber|
On the other hand there's one Vampire Crab who's known to dive into Pitcher Plants and steal the drowned, partially digested corpses that lie therein.
Video: andrea gaudio
Purple! And eating a fly molecule by molecule
They always said the devil got the best threads. The purple one is dressed like Skeletor! But better because it's wearing an exoskeleton with claws rather than a flimsy cape and a loincloth. Maybe the old boy would've had better luck if he wasn't dressed like a strip-o-gram halfway through his act.
Speaking of Skeletor... reproduction. Erm.
Vampire Crabs don't produce the vast number of tiny eggs most crabs do. And they don't go to the sea to do it like so many terrestrial crabs. Some Vampires don't need ANY water at all! To achieve this, they need to produce a small number of large eggs rather than lots of titchy ones. Some will pass their entire larval stage in their egg and emerge as miniature adults, just like many land-living and burrowing frogs do.
At least one species lays its eggs in water at the bottom of burrows. They hatch into larvae who don't need to eat a thing, they just grow into adults on an empty stomach. No nappy changing or faces smeared in muck and spittle. This is the kind of radical innovation we puny humans can learn from the mighty crabs.
With their small size, vibrant colours and piercing, hypnotic eyes, several species of Vampire Crab are becoming popular as pets. They're active little blighters, always keen to explore and tear their prey into microscopic bits. Some crab keepers say that their little darlings occasionally escape the tank and have a good wander around. They can even breed if the conditions are good enough!
We need only love the crabs!
Love the crabs as they love us!
Love the crabs. And all will be well.