Incredible Time-Lapse Footage of Spider Crab Molt At Seaworld San Diego
SeaWorld San Diego captured some AMAZING time-lapsed footage of a Japanese spider crab – largest arthropod in the world in terms of leg span – molting out of its shell. It’s about 30 seconds (the entire molt process actually took about 6 hours) and it’s really cool to watch!
While viewers of the video might think they are looking at a creature from outer space, “It’s a perfectly natural occurrence for a spider crab,” says Aquarium Curator Mike Price. “But for us as marine scientists to be able to witness Mother Nature in action in such an impressive way, that’s a great day at SeaWorld!”.
Crabs (and other crustaceans) cannot grow in a linear fashion like most animals. Because they have a hard outer shell (the exoskeleton) that does not grow, they must shed their shells, a process called molting. The frequency of molt is in part determined by their growth rate, which is turn dependent on how much they eat. When the animal essentially outgrows its shell, the molt process begins. It can take anywhere from two to 12 hours. SeaWorld’s video is a unique and fascinating look into the process, and one that is very inspiring from everyone who sees it!
Guests can check out SeaWorld’s collection of Japanese spider crabs in an exhibit in the Ocean Explorer realm, an area that is also home to the park’s giant Pacific octopuses.
For tickets and more information, visit the official SeaWorld San Diego website by clicking here.
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