Giant crabs in Antarctic
In the depths of Antarctica, there are a giant royal crabs, whose range of legs reaches more than one meter. All of this happens due the climate changes. The scientists have predicted this, but only for a hundred years from now.
Wherever these crabs go, they destroy an ecosystem that evolved 14 million years. Sounds like a horror movie plot, but in fact it is a natural phenomenon that is currently taking place. Around one million crab invasion was performed in almost all of Palmer Peninsula, at depths of 950 to 1,400 meters.
Video-recording made with a remotely operated submersible showed that specimens of species Neolithodes yaldwyni already settled parts of the Antarctic Peninsula. Records reveal that they use tips of their long crab legs to dig and tumble the sensitive sediments.
Craig Smith from the University Hawaii at Manoa said that this will probably change the processes of deposition of sediments, which will then affect the diversity of animal communities living in those sediments.
It seems that these crabs have too big appetite. In areas that are occupied they have already vanished sea urchins, sea cucumbers, sea lilies and stars, a number of different species that survived even the four times smaller than usual.
The problem is that existing marine organisms do not have any protection from these crabs. Their shells are fragile and simply never had to deal with a large armored crabs, as says professor of polar and marine biology Meklintok James.
Scientists suspect that the crabs arrived with warmer currents. In 1982, the lowest temperature in the area were about 1.2 C, which is too cold for them. However, until last year it rose to 1.47 C.
The higher parts of the Southern Ocean are cooler due to the influx of cold water resulting melting ice sheet, however, scientists predict that in twenty years could be enough to heat and therefore settle crabs on numerous shallower areas.
What is the solution for this problem? Craig Smith says that we definitely need to slow down global warming as soon as possible!