Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Not So Itsy Bitsy Spider... Crab

Spidey the Spider Crab!

Hello Explorers!

Just checking in with an update on the latest happenings at the McDonough Sailing Center in Southie. If you've read any of my posts, I'm assuming you know all about the lobsters over there (and you could quite possibly be sick of hearing about them). Let me take a break from those guys and tell you about another creepy crustacean: the spider crab! Because of their appearance, they tend to get a bad reputation, but have generally been known to be pretty gentle creatures.

While we've obviously been catching a lot of lobsters in our lobster pot, sometimes we come across other creatures who have found their way into the trap. Among the clusters of occasional seaweed that drift in, we've found green crabs, red rock crabs, and... spider crabs! I do want to take a second and let our readers know... There is an escape vent on lobster traps that allows lobsters below regulation size - as well as the other smaller marine creatures that might sneak in for a tasty treat - to return to the water. This helps keep the population going, and allows the younger creatures a chance to reproduce and grow into adulthood.

When we pulled up our trap last week, while there were indeed lobsters inside, there was also a large spider crab. It was a male, and after much deliberation, the McDonough campers decided on naming him Spidey. We spent much of the afternoon learning about the big guy and hopefully the campers not only walked away with a new friend, but a new-found knowledge of spider crabs. 

Spidey makes a new friend.

Emily takes a shot at holding a massive spider crab.


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