WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: OBJECT

Ocypode quadrata, also known as O. albicans or the “fleet-footed one of white,” is a secretive alien from the ancient depths of the sea.

Ghost Crabs scavenge the beach here, looking for tasty tidbits. Once a year, when baby sea turtles are hatching out, “Ghosties” enjoy a special feast. They drag the three-inch-long hatchlings down into their underground burrows and devour them.

These crabs are largely nocturnal in nature, mostly feeding at night when visual predators like shore birds and gulls are napping. Today, I caught a rare glimpse of a shy beach scavenger.

Well-camouflaged, eh?

IMG_1147Toni 2/1/14