Featured Creature Friday: The Dapper Dresser Crab

You can ask anyone who knows me, and they will tell you the truth: I know nothing about fashion. That’s why I’ve been looking to the experts for tips. No, I haven’t been watching a Project Runway marathon, and I still have no intention of taking my mom’s suggestion that I should go on What Not To Wear. (Thanks mom.) Instead, I’ve been reading up on dresser crabs.

I'm not really sure if the pearls are the right look for you, but they are a classic.

Don’t laugh. You don’t know a thing about accessorizing until you’ve seen a dresser crab (also known as a decorator crab) carefully select the right look for any occasion. But this isn’t just about fabulousness for them: it’s a matter of life and death. In order to defend themselves against predators, these crabs actually attach bits and bobs found on the ocean floor to the velcro-esque surfaces of their bodies, and then freeze to blend in with their surroundings when they feel there’s danger.

The crabs in the video, of course, are wearing the latest in crab fashion, but normally (when BBC camera crews and their obviously twisted senses of humor aren’t involved) dresser crabs use more common items found on the sea floor. After all, it’s the ocean, and they don’t have H&M or Abercrombie stores down there. (Yet.) They can’t just go pick up a nice frock or a pair of skinny jeans.

Their typical attire, however, is infinitely more bad-ass. Dresser crabs will stick anemones (which have stinging tentacles) or poisonous seawood to their backs. Then they’re not only sporting the latest fashion, but also a formidable defense against any animals foolish enough to tangle with them. I’m not sure why anybody would tangle with them, though. Dresser crab hangouts must be like the awesome drag reviews of the sea. And frankly, with all the jellyfish in there, I reckon the sea can use all the awesome it can get.

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2 thoughts on “Featured Creature Friday: The Dapper Dresser Crab

  1. This world is full of crazy, magnificent things I would never, ever learn about but for you. ♥

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