Should I have called this “You won’t believe this amazing crab?”. Or maybe “Samantha Bee throws shade on haters of bubbler crabs”? Regardless, you need to know about—and see—this remarkable animal. I knew nothing about it before I came upon this video, taken from BBC’s “Blue Planet” series.
Sand bubbler crabs comprise a variety of species in two genera, and live on Indo-Pacific beaches. As you see from the video below, they form sand into lovely spherical pellets after extracting the organic matter—the “meiofauna”. Sand bubblers forage only at low tide, and then retreat to their burrows.
Now what is “meiofauna”? The answer from marbef.org:
The term “Meiofauna“ is related to microscopically small benthic invertebrates that live in both marine and fresh water environments. Meiofauna is formally defined as a group of organisms by their size, larger than microfauna but smaller than macrofauna. In practice these are metazoan (some researchers include protozoan as well) animals that can pass unharmed through a 0.5 – 1 mm mesh but will be retained by a 30 μm mesh but the exact dimensions will vary from researcher to researcher. Nowadays the term meiofauna is used interchangeably with meiobenthos. Meiofauna is mainly found in and on soft sediments, but also on underwater algae and higher plants as well as on other hard substrates. The heterogeneity of meiofaunal habitats is so large and meiobenthic taxa so diverse.
Now watch and be impressed: