An adult lava crab of the Galapagos Islands, known as a Sally Lightfoot
Grapsus grapsus. This is one of the most colorful animals of the Galapagos.
The brightly colored Sally Lightfoot crab uses spikes on its paws to cling to rocks
It is interesting to see how such crabs crawl over sea iguanas basking in the sun. The red crab (Latin name Grapsus Grapsus) is also often called the red rock crab. This species is not endemic to the Galapagos Islands, as it occurs along the entire west coast of South America, as well as in Central America and the nearby islands.
The red crab is one of the most interesting animals of the Galapagos Islands, its image is often found on a series of photographs of the archipelago. Often, his image in the photo is found next to the marine iguanas who bask in the sun on the same rocks. The red crab living in the Galapagos has a shape typical of this animal.
Young red crabs differ, oddly enough, with a black or dark brown shade of the shell, which makes them practically invisible on the lava rocks of the shores of the archipelago. The color of adult individuals is quite diverse - from red-brown to shades of red and pink, in some cases, crabs of this species, painted in a color that is quite unusual for them, are intensely yellow. Often on the body and armor of adults you can see stripes or spots of bright white color. The eyes of these crabs may be pink or blue.
Red crabs feed on algae, as a rule, but do not disdain carrion. These crabs move very quickly, because it is extremely difficult to catch them, in addition, they are not edible for humans, but the fishermen speak of them as a great bait. Red crabs are very interesting to watch, as they are very energetic and mobile animals. The number of photographs with them can be considered surprising, since the red crab, even with a stretch, cannot be called a good model - it cannot sit still for a minute, the only exception is the feeding time.
The fauna of the Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands are home to many representatives of the local fauna, invertebrates, birds, reptiles and several local island mammals. The Galapagos tortoise is the most famous of all the local representatives of the fauna. These giant turtles, all 11 subspecies of which, are in danger of extinction due to hunting and new species. Beautiful brightly colored and numerous iguanas are also endemic to the Galapagos.
Galapagos are home to Earth iguanas, marine iguanas, and a hybrid of these two species. For a long time, the Galapagos were known as a birdhouse; There are 57 species in the archipelago, almost half of which are endemic, and the rest are migrants. Darwin's finches include 13 species that have adapted to the conditions of these islands. Other endemics include lava gull, Galapagos penguin, Galapagos petrel, Galapagos wingless greedy, lava heron, Galapagos swallow and Galapagos pigeon.
Life in the ocean is as diverse and unique as it is on land. The Galapagos Islands Marine Reserve includes sharks, rhombic rays, seals, sea lions, whales, dolphins, starfish, sea iguanas, penguins and other sea creatures. Green Turtles and Hawkbill Turtles can be seen in the surrounding waters of the archipelago. Crabs Grapsus grapsus (bright red) can be seen along the coast.
Crabs are an extensive group of aquatic and near-water animals, belonging to the order of the Decapod Crustacean. From crabs, shrimps, lobsters and crayfish they are distinguished by a markedly shortened belly tucked under a wide head. This gives them a specific, well-recognized form. At the same time, crabs achieved unprecedented diversity: 6793 species of these animals are combined into 93 families, which is half of the total number of the order.
Along with a special body shape for crabs, there are 10 pairs of limbs. They are divided into the chest and abdominal. The first 3 pairs of thoracic limbs are very short, they are called the maxillary jaws, because they do not participate in movement, but serve only to offer food to the mouth. The remaining pairs of thoracic legs are used for moving, grabbing and cutting food, and can also perform other auxiliary functions. A pair of the largest and most massive legs - claws. With their help, crabs can not only hunt, but also to defend themselves, to participate in marriage fights. The narrow specialization of these bodies was reflected in their appearance: often the right and left claws have a different size and shape, giving the crab's body a noticeable asymmetry.
Our Earth is fraught with many mysteries that have yet to be solved. Recently, paleontologists discovered the remains of amazing crabs that lived about 90 million years ago with dinosaurs. The find was unique and surprising - judging by the fossils, the ancient crabs had signs of both larvae and adults, and at the same time looked like other crustaceans. This discovery led scientists to redefine the definition of what makes crabs - crabs. A new species of ancient crabs was called Callichimaera perplexa, which can be translated as "perplexing beautiful chimeras." They were very tiny creatures about 1.6 centimeters long and lived in the territory of the modern USA and Canada. According to paleontologists, it is surprising that despite their tiny size, the ancient creatures remained in such good condition.
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