A crab with human-like “teeth” was recently plucked from the sea by a photographer who posted a photo of the unusual crustacean on Instagram. The image, which sparked outrage in the comments section, shows the crab out of water, displaying what appears to be a row of four human teeth.
“Crabs… “There’s something both attractive and repulsive about them,” said Roman Fedortsov, who shared the image. “Mother Nature attempted…”
According to Newsweek, deep sea beasties are a theme on Fedortsov’s page because he encounters many marine subjects while working on a fishing trawler in Western Russia. While admittedly creepy, the toothy crab fits right in with Fedortsov’s collection of ocean oddities, which also includes sea spiders, Atlantic wolffish, and eye-eating parasites.
The as-yet unidentified crab is reminiscent of the Martin Brothers pottery crab, which rose to fame after its export from the UK was blocked following its sale to an overseas buyer for nearly a quarter-million pounds.
Sheepshead fish (Archosargus probatocephalus) are well-known for their human-like teeth, which they use to grind up mollusk and crustacean shells. While these fished-for-food critters pose no threat to humans in the wild, they can use their three rows of teeth to bite back when handled, which seems fair enough.
While our “toothy” crab is more likely the result of wear and tear than functional gnashers, it is one of several recent interesting crab stories. Researchers in Western Australia were drawn to an absurdly fluffy crab with a penchant for textile art last month.
The 10-legged fuzzball, named Lamarckdromia beagle after the HMS Beagle, on which Charles Darwin sailed, is notable not only for its fur but also for the way it snips up sea sponges to wear as a protective hat. “All members of this group of crabs are hairy to some extent, but this one is ridiculous,” said Dr Andrew Hosie, curator of crustacea and worms at the Western Australian Museum, to ABC.
Out of the water, roboticists used crab morphology to create the world’s smallest remote-controlled walking robot. Given that carcinization continues to turn things into crabs, perhaps the fact that robots are following suit is proof that crab is what peak performance looks like.