We also caught another purple marsh crab. I talked to an expert on marsh crabs at Brown University, and he said it is completely possible to have found that kind of crab in the environment outside the Children's Museum. Now that we have verification that it's a marsh crab two questions remain : 1) How in the world did it get from a salt marsh to an inlet, where it is surrounded by predators and starved of food? 2) The second crab we found also had a blister-like growth in the hinge of the claw. Is this a pattern caused by it's foreign location, or simply coincidence and circumstance?
We had a lot of fun the other day. I brought in a live Quahog I dug up on Carson Beach, and we pulled up a lot of wonderful mollusks and crustaceans on our crab trap. We were able to show the kids Mussels, Quahogs, and a variety of Sea Squirts ( I think we also had a Chiton, but since we only had a speculative I.D, we didn't point it out). The kids loved being able to hold them and feel them. The other fact that amazed them was that all of these creatures were alive. To be honest, the more time I spend with sea creatures, of all phylum and family, I continue to feel amazed and full of wonder.
Until next time,