37 thoughts on “Outa here!

    1. I was thinking the same thing. Plus, you could leave your old skin sitting in your office so it looked like you were working while real you went out for the day. Or, you could put moulted you in the passenger seat of your car & drive in the HOV lanes!

        1. I could see it as a dream or fantasy Wally would have. If you see it in a forth coming Dilbert, you’ll know I thought of it first! 😉

  1. It’s a young Japanese spider crab. The front limbs will grow longer as it gets older.

    The giveaways are the horns in the front between its eyes and the distinctive white spots on the orange legs.

  2. The shit that biological systems can do. Wow.

    It shames physicists, engineers, and chemists: evolution does all three all the time for a very, very long time.

  3. Can anyone identify the crab?

    Oh, yeah … that’s George. He does this at parties. I wouldn’t give him the attention.

  4. What impresses me most about this is how much bigger the crab is immediately upon emerging – the same thing happens with insects (both arthropods of course.) It just doesn’t seem right.

    A friend of mine liked exotic species in her saltwater aquarium, and got her first crab some time back. She was hugely disappointed to find it dead on the bottom of the tank within a few weeks, and tearfully buried it in the backyard – and naturally, quite startled to see it in the tank again the next day. I was trying to contain my snickering as she related this over the phone…

  5. All of my tarantulas (I am down to one now) when molting laid onto their back, and then pushed the old skin up and away. Totally different from that crab.

    1. One of the most important of fossil arthropod groups, the Trilobata, obviously had to perform ecdysis – moulting – too. Most would split open along a line across the cephalon and glabellae (“cheeks”) called the facial suture, Consequently it is very common to find what appears to be a complete trilobite, but on preparation, you find that the anterior portion of one or both cheeks is missing, suggesting that this is a cast exoskeleton rather than a body fossil.
      While most palaeontologists would give their firstborn for a reincarnated dinosaur (sensu Owen, not Bakker), there are a lot who would give their eyeteeth for a tank full of trilobites.

  6. What helps the crab escape is that the new shell is soft, so the muscles can contract rhythmically, ‘crawling’ each leg out. There are also large delicate gills at the base of each leg (tucked under the carapace). These also molt their cuticle, but I think these molt by getting turned inside out.
    The interface between the old and new cuticle is filled with a ‘molting fluid’ that partially digests the inside of the old shell, and provides a bit of lubrication. Just when the crab escapes you can see a milky puff of fluid. That might be the molting fluid, but I am not sure.

    1. And there I was thinking that Baby Jesus materialised inside each leg in turn and pused the feet out from the end!

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