Monday, July 20, 2020

Crabs, Snails, Fish Oh My!

Wow, week two flew by!!! Cruising into this week I was lucky enough to be at both Carson beach and Spectacle Island, where my group and I searched the shore for marine life. Hiking through Spectacle Island and making it to the top was breathtaking, literally! In all of my years with Save the Harbor, I have never made it to the top, and it was extremely worthwhile, and my highlight of the week!
One of the most abundant catches this week were the crabs we caught in the crab traps around Carson beach. These green crabs are known for being in large competition with other species, making them invasive. If these large numbers of crabs are not controlled sooner rather than later, they will impact biodiversity greatly, and other species may be wiped out because of malnourishment. These crabs come in many sizes, they can be tiny (as seen in the pictures below), or even the size of your hand. Their adaptability to different places, temperatures and sea depth, they are highly dangerous because of their ability to survive in many places. Sea otters help control this invasism by consuming exotic green crabs in large numbers. More animals able to consume these crabs will open doors for more species to reclaim their land.
Small green crabs at Carson beach!
Another one of the most common catches this week were periwinkles, or small sea snails. These periwinkles are found at almost every beach, camouflaging as rocks most of the time. These snails are typically tiny, fitting about 10 or 15 in your hand. Snails are herbivores and feed mostly on algae. The shells of the snails are strong and durable which protect them from predators, and every other sea animal in competition for their same food intake.

SEA you next week!!

Aleena Mangham

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