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Crabs that eat cows

Cangrejo en la playa

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Crabs are usually very vulnerable animals when they are at the bottom of the sea. Their sharp pincers are only useful for defense when they are inside their burrows. However, when they go in search of food, they are besieged by octopuses, sea bass, and many other predators.

Perhaps that is why many species of crabs are evolving to spend more time on sandy beaches, where they usually live buried or in small burrows among rocks. They only return to the sea to moisten their gills because they still breathe oxygen dissolved in seawater, just like fish. That’s why they have a chamber surrounding their gills filled with saltwater that needs to be replenished.

The presence of humans is often the biggest obstacle for these animals on most sandy beaches. But on beaches where humans don’t reach, crabs reign freely. In the Sanborombón Bay, just 200 kilometers from the city of Buenos Aires, the beaches surrounded by swamps and wetlands are inaccessible to humans and provide ideal conditions for crabs.

They move through the sand in an army of thousands, feeding on everything in their path. With the low tide, tidal pools are formed where a large number of fish get trapped. This is the time for the crabs to take advantage as they pounce on their old enemies and devour them within minutes.

The presence of wild cattle in the area is common. When they reach the swamps, their hooves create suction in the marshy terrain, and they can no longer escape. Upon hearing the distressed moos, the crabs rush at a speed of one and a half meters per second and feast on the trapped animal in a true orgy of blood and pincers until only the bones remain.

Among the crabs, there is no organization, no family groups, no tribes. Only a large multitude of isolated individuals working in a disorderly manner. Fights over food or mates are constant, and if one of the combatants is left too injured, the community will immediately take care of it. Perhaps such anarchy serves a logical purpose, maybe it’s a way to regulate the species and prevent overpopulation. After all, it’s simply about survival, the simple game of life.

“You cannot defend what you do not love, and you cannot love what you do not know.”