A crab with human-like "teeth" was recently plucked out of the ocean by a photographer who shared a picture of the curious crustacean on Instagram. The picture, which was met with horror in the comments section, shows the crab out of water, showing off what looks like a row of four human teeth.
“Crabs… All the same, there is something attractive and repulsive in them,” said Roman Fedortsov who shared the image. “Mother nature tried…”
Deep sea beasties are a theme on Fedortsov’s page as he encounters many marine subjects while working on a fishing trawler in Western Russia, reports Newsweek. While admittedly a little creepy, the toothy crab sits quite happily among Fedortsov’s portfolio of ocean oddities, which include sea spiders, Atlantic wolffish, and eye-eating parasites.
It seems that life truly does imitate art, as the as-of-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 almost a quarter of a million pounds.
Sheepshead fish (Archosargus probatocephalus) are famous for their human-like teeth which they use for grinding up shells of mollusks and crustaceans. While these critters, fished for consumption, pose no threat to humans in the wild, they can employ their three rows of teeth to bite back when handled – which seems fair enough, really.
While our "toothy" crab is more likely the result of wear and tear rather than functional gnashers, it makes for one in a string of recent interesting crab stories. Last month, an absurdly fluffy crab with a penchant for textile art came to the attention of researchers in Western Australia.
The 10-legged fuzzball was named Lamarckdromia beagle in honor of the HMS Beagle upon which Charles Darwin sailed and 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 Western Australian Museum curator of crustacea and worms Dr Andrew Hosie to ABC.
Out of the water, roboticists have turned to the morphology of the crab in innovating the world’s smallest remote-controlled walking robot. Considering carcinization keeps turning things into crabs, perhaps that robots are going the same way really is proof that crab is what peak performance looks like.