Tag Archives: Niwbwrch

Crab tide

Yesterday’s tide line on Penrhos beach comprised almost nothing but spiny spider crabs, hundreds, probably thousands of them. It looked like crabageddon.

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Spiny spider crab shells

In fact, I am assured that these aren’t actually dead crabs, they are just the shells from the annual moult. Which explains why there were no birds taking any interest and no smells either. Somewhere out to sea there will be thousands of naked spiny spider crabs waiting for their new shells to grow.

I was puzzled how the crabs could manage to shed their shells, whilst seeming to leave the shells intact. How was that possible? Then it was explained to me that the shell can hinge open (hinging at the front) and the crab wriggles out the rear.  Once I knew that, I had to go and check it out for myself.

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Here’s a freshly washed up crab shell. You can tell it’s empty by giving it a tap and it sounds hollow.

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And, sure enough, if you lift the back edge of the shell, it easily opens up to show you the empty space inside:)

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I also spotted this “jellied” crab…

 

 

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The Athena goes into hiding

Earlier this year, the remains of the Athena were more exposed than they have been for a long time.

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The wreck of the brig Athena in May 2016

But gradually the sand level on Penrhos beach has got higher and higher and now you’d be hard pressed to even spot where the Athena lies.

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The Athena looking towards Llanddwyn May 2016

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The Athena early October 2016

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The last stubs of the Athena poking through the sand 25th October 2016

(Maybe she was fed up of being photographed so much!)