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View Full Version : Marine Biologists and others of the "know things about sea critters" persuasion...



thethinker42
02-08-2009, 08:05 AM
I'm completely baffled.

WTF is this thing??

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_PfjQdQcAG1I/SXMKQb4JALI/AAAAAAAAAmI/xsjOoQbO93Y/s400/wtfbeast.jpg

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_F9GWobhnNrQ/SXMcPZogbpI/AAAAAAAAALg/gV5dK9Etlm4/s320/creature.jpg

My husband and I found it on a beach on the Pacific side of Okinawa. It's about 2" or so long, and it was crawling on the sand. Its movement reminded me a bit of a turtle, as far as how its legs (?) were pulling it along...but it was soft to the touch, had little skinny legs like a hermit crab, and I couldn't see if it had a discernible head. It was swept away by a wave before I could get any more pics of it.

Curiosity is killing me. Anyone?

WriteKnight
02-08-2009, 08:10 AM
It's a sea scabie. If you touched it - you are infected.

Just kidding......

thethinker42
02-08-2009, 08:18 AM
It's a sea scabie. If you touched it - you are infected.

Just kidding......

Good thing my husband is the one that touched it. :D

writerterri
02-08-2009, 08:23 AM
It's a sand crab. Lemme google it...

WriteKnight
02-08-2009, 08:24 AM
Weird little bugger. I grew up on the Texas Gulf coast, so it's new to me. I've never seen anything like it here in NorCal on the coast either. If it has legs, its probably some sort of 'crab' like critter??? Maybe you caught it between shells, while it was moving out of one, looking for another???

thethinker42
02-08-2009, 08:25 AM
It's a sand crab. Lemme google it...

It looks like they are "sand fleas" or "mole crabs".
http://www.mariculturetechnology.com/baitfish.htm

What a bizarre looking creature...

thethinker42
02-08-2009, 08:26 AM
Weird little bugger. I grew up on the Texas Gulf coast, so it's new to me. I've never seen anything like it here in NorCal on the coast either. If it has legs, its probably some sort of 'crab' like critter??? Maybe you caught it between shells, while it was moving out of one, looking for another???

I googled it based on what writerterri said...it's a sand flea or mole crab. What a weird-looking thing.

writerterri
02-08-2009, 08:26 AM
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3068/2667228196_cd4d21144d.jpg?v=0

Or a species of one at least.

Fenika
02-08-2009, 08:26 AM
Yep, sand flea. Looks like it recently molted (hard to tell though). They are fun to watch and dig for. Normally they burrow really fast.

thethinker42
02-08-2009, 08:35 AM
I figured it would be something mundane and boring like that. LOL But I had no idea what to even Google to find it. "funky lumpy squishy thing on beach" "creepy crawly soft-bodied lump" (Those pulled up some amusing results...but no sand fleas/mole crabs)

writerterri
02-08-2009, 08:43 AM
They are fun! When I was a kid we dug for them all the time. We'd put some sand in our hands or on our backs and and they would tickle us digging around.

I tried to hold one when my kids found some but it creeped me out. Huh. Must be getting old.

thethinker42
02-08-2009, 09:37 AM
They are fun! When I was a kid we dug for them all the time. We'd put some sand in our hands or on our backs and and they would tickle us digging around.

I tried to hold one when my kids found some but it creeped me out. Huh. Must be getting old.

I will SO do that next time I find one. This one got away before we could do anything more than poke at it. Stupid waves.

Plus, we didn't know what it was, and given the fact that most creatures in Okinawa are poisonous in some fashion or another, we didn't want to take any chances (I mean, c'mon, we have poisonous SNAILS for crying out loud). We probably have vampire butterflies and poisonous birds too. Who knows? So, yeah, weren't going to let a mystery creature wander around on my skin.

But now that I know... :D

Joe270
02-08-2009, 12:34 PM
Sorta looks like RT to me.

Cassiopeia
02-08-2009, 02:07 PM
Ask Neurofizz, he's a marine biologist. :)

Cassiopeia
02-08-2009, 02:13 PM
I will SO do that next time I find one. This one got away before we could do anything more than poke at it. Stupid waves.

Plus, we didn't know what it was, and given the fact that most creatures in Okinawa are poisonous in some fashion or another, we didn't want to take any chances (I mean, c'mon, we have poisonous SNAILS for crying out loud). We probably have vampire butterflies and poisonous birds too. Who knows? So, yeah, weren't going to let a mystery creature wander around on my skin.

But now that I know... :DHave you seen any of those gargantuan wasps? *shudder* I watched a special on them.

I'm never traveling to Japan.

NeuroFizz
02-08-2009, 08:30 PM
Just saw this thread. Sorry.

You'd be best off googling "Sand Crab." These guys can get large in some parts of the world, but on the east coast here, they are about thumbnail size. I'm more familiar a west coast species because a colleague works on the neural control of digging behavior. If you want specifics on that species, google, Emerita analoga.

These guys live in sandy areas (mostly but not exclusively) in the surf-wash zone, and burrow down with their antennae and first few appendages sticking up from the sand. When the wash recedes, and food items contact the exposed parts, they grab and eat. In the higher regions of the wet zone, kids can dig down and frequently unearth the beasts. When put back in wet sand, it becomes apparent how specialized they are for digging into the sand. They're cute little buggers.

regdog
02-08-2009, 08:34 PM
Sorta looks like RT to me.


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