Friday, July 18, 2014

a little extra crab with this king

My friend was out on a crab survey this summer and spotted this guy:

Paralithodes camtschaticus

Nothing out of the ordinary, right? EXCEPT FOR THESE:


We've seen extra appendages before (here and here). They most often are a result of some trauma to that leg that the crab's physiology tries to heal through regeneration (remember, crabs can rebuild entire legs!) that goes awry. When my friend posted these photos, someone asked if they were mobile or able to move independently. While I wasn't there, allow me to speculate: these bonus crab bits are just that. Bonus. The crab can't control their movement (you can see that they don't have actual joints, just the impression) and if the leg gets dropped for whatever reason and is regenerated, it likely won't have those mutations the second time around. BUT it would be cool if they could move, because imagine how much more scary that would make this guy:

"I pinch, twice!" - mutant crab

Katie, please feel free to let me know if I'm wrong! (Fingers crossed!)