hairy crab, Pilumnus vespertilio (4)

photo via:

Habitat: Indo-Pacific Oceans
Status: Not Evaluated

This hairy little beast is called (as it very well should be) a Hairy Crab (Pilumnus vespertilio). And this thing doesn’t look like it just stepped out of the hair dressers in Beverly Hills. Oh no, more like it had been stranded on a desert island without a good pair of clippers for a decade. Personally, I think it kind of looks like Chewbacca in crab form. But that’s just me.

Some people refer to them as the “teddy bear” of crabs since they do look so cute and fluffy when they fluff up in the water. When taken out, their hairs all stick to their carapace, making them look more like something the cat dragged in:

photo: tidechaser

So what exactly do those hairs come in handy for? I mean, other than making it look perfectly fabulous in the billowing currents, the hairs trap sediments allowing the crab to blend perfectly with its surroundings. When ‘fluffed’ in the water, this also helps to break up the crab’s actual outline so that predators can’t really tell where the seaweed-like hair starts and the crab begins. They reach anywhere between 3-5cm in length.

 I’d like to find one some day and cuddle the crustacean right out of it. tehe.