Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Crab Turkey!

Not to be confused with a jive turkey, a crab turkey is something wonderful that I just made up. Because I can. It's a turkey made out of, you guessed it: crabs!

kind of, crab-dressed-as-a-turkey, kind of

I love Thanksgiving but wanted more Thanksgiving decor around my house (this guy is rockin' the "give thanks" message, but he needed friends). What a perfect excuse for a paper craft, amirite? Here's the final product:

so colorful!

And here's how you can make your own:

1. Download this PDF and print it - card stock is best but plain paper works just fine

2. Color in the turkey body and 3 crabs (Don't mistake the turkey for a penguin like Adam did. Although you could make an all black-and-white crab turkey that would probably look pretty sweet!)

the husband hard at work

my (almost) finished coloring job
note: the circles making up the crab body will be covered up,
so you don't need to color them in

3. Cut out the pieces - I know the legs are skinny, so there are a few options:
a. Thicken the legs with your coloring implement
b. Don't cut out the individual legs but leave them as one big ol' crab leg unit
c. Cut around the individual legs leaving a white border - I did that for Adam's turkey and it really makes the bright colors POP!

option a on the top and b on the bottom

4. Glue them all together - the order, from front to back, goes penguin turkey body, small crab, medium crab, large crab. The crabs will all line up with their big circular bodies (carapaces). To line up the turkey body with its crab-turned-feathers, I bent the legs of both the turkey and the crabs before gluing so that I could make sure it would stand properly.

crab turkeys playing amongst the pumpkins

5. Enjoy your new crab-inspired Thanksgiving decoration! I think they could make great place cards for the kiddie table or you could write dish descriptions on their little bellies.

Oh, I don't know if you noticed, but I added little tubercles to my crabs' claws. We've seen those tiny calcium carbonate bumps on other crabs like the purple land crab pictured below and the warty crab.

tubercles and turkeys - they go claw in claw!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Give Thanks (for crabs!)

It's been that kind of day where the winter weather is catching up with my nose and throat. But that's not stopping me from enjoying this view:

winter wonderland (aka my backyard)

Or from crafting a crab-themed Thanksgiving decoration! I started with a pumpkin that I had decorated for a competition at work this past Halloween.

ghost crab (get it? because it says 'Boo'?)

Oh man, I am so clever! You may remember learning about ghost crabs from earlier posts (like here and here). They are super speedy crabs that can disappear as quickly as you spot them, hence their name! But when you do catch a glimpse, they're quite lovely little crustaceans.

a ghost crab captured by Pat Barry in India

I thought a ghost crab would be the perfect Halloween-themed crab to bring to the crafting table. I made the legs out of popsicle sticks and painted the whole guy white. Then I simply wrote on him with a sharpie to really bring it home. After Halloween he underwent some modifications to fit in at our Life Aquatic party my husband and I hosted:

Adam made a man-of-war (not to be mistaken with an electric jellyfish)
and decorated the pumpkin as a sugar crab

I love this movie!

Today began the final transformation (probably) for our little pumpkin-crab friend. I added more stripes to his legs but made them fall/harvest colored (red, orange, yellow, and brown) then simply added a little banner saying, "give thanks". Thanksgiving is often overlooked, but I think it's an important message to remember! So, do what the crab says:

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Birthday Prawn

This past October marked my 30th birthday (30!!!), and my wonderful advisor-turned-friend gave me lots of crustacean-themed gifts! The most beautiful of them was this apron featuring a brilliant prawn:

I'm sure there's a better picture of the apron,
but I also wanted to give a shout-out to the Tamones!

Here are some fun facts about this shrimp, Macrobrachium hancocki:

It is a native of the Galapagos Islands.

It lives in freshwater, unlike these prawns we looked at before.

It looks very similar to its cousin, M. crenulatum, but is less spiky.

M. hancocki has a little square patch of non-spiky furryness on its second pereopod
where M. crenulatum would have had spikes all up in that orange square