Ever wondered how a growing crab crab would wiggle out of a too small shell? A new time-lapse video lets you watch the fascinating process, just like a young crab crab moulting, making you wonder how it fits into the shell it left behind.
In the wild, this process can take several hours. This video- Photo by marine biologist Bailey Steinworth The University of Florida's -Concentration time is only 16 seconds, so you can watch small crustaceans only one to two years old writhing from old skin.
Horseshoe crab [family Branch]-And other arthropods-are protected by the exoskeleton of a long-chain polymer called chitin. As these organisms grow, the chitin shells do not grow, so they must tremble to become larger and stronger.
It is not until the age of 9 or 10 that adult crabs reach adulthood-reproductive maturity. They will molt about 18 times until their adult width reaches 30 cm [12 inches], and six of them will begin in the very first year of crab growth.
-Bailey Steinworth [@baileys] March 25, 2020
Growth occurs gradually. Horseshoe crabs emerge from the shell with a large exoskeleton, and then grow to a new size until they are ready to molt again. And the bigger the crab grows, the longer it takes to moult.
It may take up to 24 hours from the first split in the middle of the head to the larger creature crawling out of the shell. You may have found the molting they left on the beach, which looks like ghost of crab. In a way, they are.
In adulthood, the crustacean will no longer molt [as far as we know], and it will remain at a fixed size for the rest of its 20-year life.
The little guy in this video has a lot to do!