Site 20: Crabs on a Rocky Shoreline
You cannot teach a crab to walk straight.
Aristophanes - Peace 1.223
Where the wall has fallen, the landscape may not look beautiful to the human eye. However, the fallen rocks that once made up the wall create a rugous habitat with many hiding spaces for clever inter-tidal species. Here is a prime location for catching crabs. In the past, native species such as rock crabs, hermit crabs (of various species), and the early invader European green crab (Carcinus maenus) would be found here in bountiful numbers. Today, a new invader has taken over much of the habitat. The Asian Shore Crab (Hemigrapsus sanguineus) has made its home in the waters in the eastern United States, since being first introduced to New Jersey in the late 1980s. Originating in the Pacific Ocean, this species has distinct dark and light banding on the legs. Flip a single rock over and you will be met with the site of many of these invaders. They have no natural predators, and the females each produce up to 50,000 eggs multiple times per season, which mades them an excellent and problematic invasive species. Local scientists encourage their use as bait when fishing!
Land of Fires - Site 2