If you have taken a night time walk on the beach during your vacation, chances are you’ve seen hundreds of crabs moving towards the water.
These are ghost crabs, also known as sand crabs. Ghost crabs are named as such because of their translucent appearance and quick scuttling getaways in to the sand.
Ghost crabs have rotating eyes that sport an impressive 360 degree vision. They can run up to 10 mph and dig tunnels four feet in to the sand.
These interesting crabs live on land, only walking to the shore at night to wash their gills with ocean water for necessary oxygen. And in the summer, female crabs will release eggs in to the water.
Over our many years in Corolla we have enjoyed watching visitors discover these fascinating creatures. Sometimes though, we have seen both children and parents alike chasing the crabs, kicking them and capturing them. We’ve seen crabs placed in hot plastic bags, left on the beach to slowly die. Children have put crabs in buckets of water, believing they are aquatic and require submersion to live.
Ghost crabs are an essential part of the beaches ecosystem. They feed on dead fish, birds and other creatures washed up on the beach. The crabs are our beach’s cleanup crew, making your time in OBX more pleasurable.
So please, enjoy the beach and its amazing creatures. But take care to keep all of the beach wildlife safe!SHARE