Me and my hot Valentine’s Day date had a great time. One snowstorm, a couple of taxis, one car accident, and a few hours at the UBC pool and I am scuba-refreshed! Thanks so much, Alex from the @divinglocker ☀️🧜🏽♀️🏝Punta Cana, here I come!
Puget Sound king crabs are found in subtidal areas to depths of 450 feet. As its name suggests, this crab is found in Puget Sound, but its range extends all the way from southern Alaska to central California. While quite large—an adult’s carapace can be 10 inches across—this species is not to be confused with the commercially harvested king crab of Alaska, which belongs to a different genus.
The body of L. mandtii is squat and box-like, covered in bumps and wart-like tubercles. Its primary defense against predation is to pull its limbs toward its body and hold fast, presenting an almost impenetrable “tank” to any would-be attackers. If this defensive posture doesn’t work, the crab will brandish its heavy chelae (pronounced “kee-lee”), or claws, as a last-ditch effort.
These crabs feed on barnacles, urchins, sea stars, and other echinoderms, grabbing and subduing them with their specialized claws. Each claw has a specific purpose: the left claw crushes the prey item, while the right claw cuts and prepares the prey for consumption.
In early winter L. mandtii moves into shallower water to molt and find mates. Mating can occur only once the female has molted; after she sheds her carapace and finds a male to fertilize her eggs, she returns to the depths, carrying those 180,000 eggs with her for the better part of a year. (The males and juveniles, meanwhile, stay in the shallower areas until autumn, shedding their shells over the summer.) By the following spring, the female is ready to release her eggs. The hatching larvae spend two months as plankton, drifting about on the currents until maturing enough to settle on the seafloor as juveniles. Puget Sound king crabs take seven years to reach sexual maturity, and their lifespan is unknown.
Fun fact: Puget Sound king crabs have eight legs (like all other crab species), but only six are visible. The remaining two are hidden inside the crab’s carapace! The reason for this odd arrangement is unclear. ➡️ @oregoncoastaquarium 🙏 #divinglocker#submergewithtess#saltyhair#explore#sunshinecoastbc#explorebc#bc#beautifulbc#hellobc#tourismbc#travelbc#britishcolumbia#beautifulbritishcolumbia#britishcolumbiacanada