What lives under rocks, is really creepy, but has a pretty name? That would be porcelain crabs known for their highly decorative shell that shines magnificently despite the muck of the sea bed. They come in an assortment of colors, from beautiful white-blue, to brilliant red and orange, and even lava colored. Most appear spotted, to appear like refracted light. This is the crab’s main defense of course, its porcelain shell is painted like the rays of light that would bounce of the ocean floor, or the rocks that it would hide under. But that’s not its main defense.
The porcelain crab doesn’t really need to have good coloring. Its main defense is enough. This comical looking crab, with huge pincers and big beady eyes, can flatten itself nearly completely. Its like something out of a science fiction novel. The crab simply moves sideways to make up for its lack of depth. The porcelain crab seems to scoot in its haste, looking rather comical as it does so.
The Porcelain crab makes it home in Australia, were lots of comical creatures can be found. There are a lot of them, but they move quickly and can be hard to see. What is interesting, is that this animal is not what it might appear. It does indeed have a shell that resembles porcelain, but it is actually not a crab at all. It belongs to another category altogether. unlike other crabs with four pairs of legs, these guys only have three and they have long antennae. It has a long body that it tucks under itself sort of like a crayfish or lobster. It can pull this out in time of need, and use it to swim away.
The porcelain crab is more similar to a hermit crab than any real crab. And unlike their crab cousins, they don’t really scavenge. They filter feed, like sponges or anemone. This means that they take in all they need to survive through the water around them. Because of this, these animals are less aggressive than other crabs that scavenge and can live with a plethora of other sea creatures without the need to bicker or squabble over food. All the porcelain crab has to do is simply breathe. Then, dinner is served. It couldn’t have a simpler life, even if it was indeed a crab. And it has a pretty porcelain shell to boot.