At the Boston Children's Museum, Save the Harbor's biggest attraction is the crabs that we catch and put in our touch tank. While several of the kids who visit our tank are familiar with crabs, several are not aware of the many cool facts about them. For instance, asking the kids whether or not they think legs and claws can grow back always results in wide eyes when you surprise them and say, "Actually ... crabs CAN re-grow their limbs!" Another fact that throws kids off is that not all green crabs are green. In fact, many of them are a dark reddish-orange color. Fortunately, by the time the crab discussion ends, kids walk away from it being able to at least tell how to identify a green crab, and how to tell whether a crab is male or female.
Crab expert Manny showing kids a green crab
Today, our touch tank had two special guests. The first creature was spotted laying on the dock at the Museum. Although it was not alive, the Asteriid Sea Star we found was a hit with the kids in our tank. In the biggest group of visitors, almost every kid wanted a turn holding the sea star as they were fascinated by its rough skin and purple coloring. The second guest came courtesy of Bruce, a nice cooked blue crab. Again, the kids did not seem to mind that our friend was no longer alive. In fact, they were fascinated by this new crab, and we even had a couple of the young girls remove the crab's legs so that they could check out what it looked like inside.
Our newest guests -- the blue crab and sea star
On top of all of this excitement, we also pulled up 33 green crabs and one spider crab for the day. Hopefully in the days to come, the kids are able to explore ever-changing creatures with us!
In awe of the sea star
-Ashley, Senior Harbor Educator at the Boston Children's Museum and Community Boating