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Crab on the run?


Lone Hunter

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Don't think it matters but this is a Cretateous crab, don't think I've ever seen a crab that wasn't in what I'm assuming is a moulting position so curious what's going on with this little guy. Was it maybe dead and floating or perhaps trapped in the sediment and struggling to get out?

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Perhaps the molt remains themselves?

They get moved around easily by the currents/wave action.

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    Tim    VETERAN SHALE SPLITTER

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Would a crab molt be like a crawdad molt? My crawdads molts are clear and jelly like and don't think they would preserve in any way. I'm seeing original shell in this would that eliminate a molt?

11 hours ago, trilobites_are_awesome said:

I don't know but it could use some more prep.

Yes I know and I wish I could afford the equipment needed to do so.

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Our crawdad had blue molts that were shell-like...looked just like he normally would look except they didn't beg for food.  :)

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Fin Lover

 

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My favorite things about fossil hunting: getting out of my own head, getting into nature and, if I’m lucky, finding some cool souvenirs.

 

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35 minutes ago, Fin Lover said:

Our crawdad had blue molts that were shell-like...looked just like he normally would look except they didn't beg for food.  :)

Yes they look just like the shell and have some pigment but are pliable. Blue crawdad? I want one of those, mine are little beggars too they are cool pets just wish they lived longer.

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My husband bought them to use for bait and put them in an aquarium until he was ready to use them, but I was feeding them and grew attached and ended up telling him he couldn't use them for bait.  :shakehead:  One killed the other three, so we ended up with just one, but he lived much longer than expected.  They weren't originally blue but turned blue with time and were actually very pretty.

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Fin Lover

 

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My favorite things about fossil hunting: getting out of my own head, getting into nature and, if I’m lucky, finding some cool souvenirs.

 

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When crabs molt their hard old shells split along a special seem and opens like a clamshell (kinda). Their new shell on their body is soft and hardens over a few days. The hard outer shell is discarded.

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Some split from the front and some from the rear. I can’t tell for sure but looking at the edges of your piece I wonder if it isn’t the split open exoskeleton that’s been filled with sediment/matrix. But that could just be a flight of fancy LOL!IMG_0546.thumb.jpeg.985e621b60a977892d36a3a4be7e786c.jpeg

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5 minutes ago, Randyw said:

When crabs molt their hard old shells split along a special seem and opens like a clamshell (kinda). Their new shell on their body is soft and hardens over a few days. The hard outer shell is discarded.

Great explanation and photos. I agree that it's hard to tell from the photos but my first impression was that the original exoskeleton filled with sediment after the molt. I've found many newly molted (soft shelled) crabs hiding under rocks along with their old discarded shell, often disarticulated and sometimes filled with sediment. I kept green crabs (Carcinus maenas) in my home aquaria for many years and occasionally had the opportunity to watch the molting process. Fascinating. 

Start the day with a smile and get it over with.

 

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The first molt I saw I thought was a dead crawdad 🤨  Wish there was a way to dissolve that sediment to see what's going on, so an exoskeleton of crab would fossilize?  And thanks for picture explanation @Randyw those were cool!

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36 minutes ago, Lone Hunter said:

so an exoskeleton of crab would fossilize? 

Oh yes! It’s  hard so it’s just like a molted trilobite exoskeleton. Matter of fact both crabs and trilobites molt in the same way. I’ve heard it said most partial trilobite skeletons are molts and most enrolled examples are ones that were alive when buried. I’ve actually always been surprised we don’t see more molted crab fossils. Or maybe we do but the shell closed and people think they just found a partial specimen. But I think there’s a lot of things in the ocean that eat the shells for the mineral in them plus currents and waves would break them up fast I suppose.

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1 hour ago, Lone Hunter said:

Wish there was a way to dissolve that sediment to see what's going on

IMG_0548.thumb.jpeg.c4ea64a37f3a771a728cbcd6496796f0.jpegthese two pictures I think tell the tales. A little cleaning in the yellow section would be conclusive but the undercut in the top picture should be showing crab bits and it doesn’t. And there’s crab missing where the blue circle is because it’s all where the red circle is. Compare it to my center picture of my first post if the crab itself was missing instead of still inside.

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