"Every winter in shallow waters off Australia’s southern coast, armies of
native spider crabs appear in their thousands. They form huge underwater piles,
some as tall as a person. These fascinating crustaceans are on a risky mission
– to get bigger.
Crabs cannot simply grow like humans and other soft-bodied creatures. They must
break free from their shells, expand their soft flesh and harden a new shell –
all while dodging hungry predators on the hunt for a soft, easy meal.
This moulting process leaves crabs clumsy and uncoordinated, making any escape
tricky. That’s thought to be one reason they clump together in such big numbers
– to keep each other safe.
The spectacular gatherings attract tourists from interstate and overseas and
have even been featured in a BBC documentary. But despite all this attention,
scientists know very little about these quirky creatures. We need your help to
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics