Crabs are a diverse group of crustaceans that are found in both marine and terrestrial environments. While some crabs live in the water, others live on land, and both are equally interesting to observe.
The Maldives is home to many different species of crabs, including hermit crabs, the swift footed rock crab and ghost crabs. Hermit crabs are often found scuttling along the beach, they do not grow shells, but re-use and recycle empty shells. We see the swift footed rock crab among rocks and along the jetties, especially if there are stairs leading into the water. They are a duller colour which makes them difficult to spot, keep an eye out for fast movement or even them jumping from rock to rock. Finally, we find ghost crabs along the beach darting and running up and down the shoreline. They have unique eyestalks, which allow them to see in all directions.
Water dwelling crabs
These crabs have several adaptations that allow them to survive and thrive in the water. One of the most notable adaptations are the gills, allowing them to breath underwater. The gills also help to filter out waste and excess salt. Most water dwelling crabs have a streamlined body shape that allows them to move through the water with ease. They also have powerful legs that help them to swim and climb over rocky surfaces.
Land dwelling crabs
These crabs have evolved to live on land. They have sort of modified gills that act as lungs which allow them to breath oxygen from the air. Some species need to keep these gills wet in order to stay out of the water. Land dwelling crabs also have a more robust exoskeletons, which protects them from predators and helps to prevent water loss.
Whether you’re exploring the coral reefs or taking a stroll along the beach, keep an eye out for these fascinating creatures!