Wednesday 13 January 2016

Halimeda Crab

Huenia heraldica
It's a plant! It's a crab! It's...


Image: Daniel Kwok
Halimeda Crabs are delightful, little crabs found all around the Indo-Pacific, from Japan to Australia to Hawaii. They're only about 3 cm (an inch) long which unfortunately makes them a crunchy, tasty snack for far too many predators.

Something MUST be done!

Image: Moorea Biocode
Luckily, Halimeda Crabs come with a few useful somethings already. Things that allow them to go unnoticed among the green, leaf-type-things of Halimeda algae.

The most immediately obvious of these things is their lovely, green colour which matches Halimeda perfectly. Good start! Then there are the strange flaps and sticky-out bits on their legs and body that match Halimeda's leafy segments. Nice! Many creatures would leave it at that, but not the Halimeda Crab. They use their head,,,

Video: liquidguru

The Halimeda Crab will now pick up a piece of authentic, honest to goodness Halimeda and attach it to his head. It's the perfect final touch! Now he can walk around and even fall over like a complete buffoon (at the slightest current if he's particularly ambitious about the size of algae he wants on his noggin) and he just looks like a bit of algae because he partially is a bit of algae.

AND he's turned himself from a crunchy, tasty snack to a crunchy, tasty snack with a side dish of algae. And no self-respecting predator wants that.


TexWisGirl said...

now that's using your noggin, for sure!

elfinelvin said...

He would fit right in at the Emerald City. If the Emerald City were under water.

Lear's Fool said...

Such fancy hats!

Joseph JG said...

@TexWisGirl: Nice to see a crab with smarts!

@elfinelvin: Yeah, urban camouflage, too!

@Lear's Fool: It's a statement!