Correy the shore crab was hungry. He always flicked his antennules in order to smell his surroundings, but because he didn’t smell any food close by, he continued flicking his antennules at a high rate, the fan-like hairs sweeping through the water, hoping to get a whiff of something delicious to eat like some diatoms, sea lettuce, or green algae.
His friend Shirley, along with several other of their hairy legged friends, were all under the same rock. Shirley also seemed hungry, as she was flicking her antennules through the water, one after the other, almost non-stop. Correy liked her large white markings which were quite different than his speckled greenish grey shell. “Maybe,” he thought, “we can get together during the spring or summertime. Lay some eggs together. Like 10,000.” Correy pictured how it could happen in his mind. Getting together, laying eggs, then those eggs hatching and progressing towards adulthood.
Correy’s daydream… Art by Annelise Hooper. Follow the link to see what Correy pictured in his mind! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yTYojLl3Pk
Shirley spotted Correy, and began moving her body sideways in his direction, still flicking her antennules. “I’m bored of eating all these greens. Want to go see what we can scavenge?” she asked Correy. Correy’s hunger outweighed the danger of being eaten by fish or other larger crabs. “Sure,” he replied, “I bet I can find us a big tasty mussel to eat.” He really wanted to impress Shirley. Correy edged out from underneath the rock and looked upwards in the water. He could see that the morning sun was out. Even though he normally fed at night, he would make an exception for Shirley.
The two crabs wandered out, going from rock to rock, chatting and bumping into each other playfully. They were so distracted that they completely lost track of the tide and didn’t even notice that they were no longer underwater. Correy was nervous, but still putting on a tough face, so he was glad when Shirley said with a bit of a quiver in her voice, “We’d better hide out under a rock for a little while so that a bird doesn’t get us.” The two small crabs hid themselves and were unsurprised to already find a dozen or so other crabs sharing the refuge.
All of a sudden, the rock lifted up into the air and the bright light of the sun blinded Correy. Before he knew what was happening, he and Shirley were lifted up dropped onto a pile of dozens of other crabs. Correy could see that they were surrounded by impossibly high, white walls. “Oh no!” exclaimed Shirley. “What’s going to happen to us?”
Correy and Shirley were starting to get used to their new surroundings. The water was clean, and they got to spend time together. The two crabs were talking about what had just happened to them, being moved around, bombarded with smells, then reunited, when a fresh mussel with its shell cracked open was dropped beside them. “Well,” said Correy,”Here is that big tasty meal I promised you…”
Correy and Shirley sharing their meal! A higher quality video can be seen here: https://youtu.be/TrUjzJBhuL8
For those of you interested about knowing more about Correy and his shore crab species, the online Encyclopedia of Life has great descriptions as well as links to journal articles where the information was tested. http://eol.org/pages/344640/details