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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sea Creature Babies

These are babies of a sea creature that has ten legs when it grows up. Mrs. Newton's students saw this when they looked through a hand lens. Whose babies are these?

The picture on the right, is one that looks a lot like what we could see with the microscope. But our babies were brownish red.


At March 19, 2006, Anonymous Eastview 1st & 4th graders said...

Is the dark circle an eye spot?

We think we can see four legs? Does this baby change as it grows?

The shape reminds us of a horeshoe crab. We found photos of crabs. Crabs have ten legs.

At March 19, 2006, Anonymous Ron said...

You are close. But once again, you have the wrong ocean. These are from the Pacific, and we have no horseshoe crabs! But yes, very, very close!

At March 19, 2006, Anonymous Cara & Her Mom said...

We know now we have some type of crab baby...we just don't know what kind yet. We found a picture of crab larval stage and it does look like what Ron sent...just a different color.

Do the mystery baby creatures go through a molting process before they become adults?

At March 19, 2006, Blogger Mrs. Newton said...

Do the babies' parents have an odd shaped body?

Do they have anything to do with kelp?

At March 20, 2006, Anonymous ron hirschi said...

I think it would be almost impossible to figure this out, completely. You have solved this mystery. These are baby crabs, probably Dungeness Crabs. Crabs undergo many sheddings of skin between their early stage called the zoea and the next stage called the megalops. I think what you are looking at is one of the megalops stages. I don't know that much about these early stages, but you can see how people once thought these little creatures were a separate kind of animal. But, they undergo further sheddings until they metamorphose into ten legged crabs!

I will try to find some photos of the progression of stages. The ones you have washed up on our beach a couple of summers ago. There were many hundreds of thousands of them. Dungeness crab is a famous seafood treat here and Dungeness Bay is not far from where I live. You can visit there and enjoy a crab dinner at THE THREE CRABS restaurant.

From the shore, Ron

At March 21, 2006, Blogger Mrs. Newton said...

Actually Cara and her mother thought it was a Dungeness crab. I thought that was too easy of an answer because those crabs are so plentiful. I was thinking that it might be a Kelp Crab or Shield Crab. So Cara and her mother need a gold star!

At March 21, 2006, Anonymous ron hirschi said...

I think Cara and her mom deserve a crab louie dinner! I will set out the pots tonight.........one of the most fun "fishing" trips we make with family and friends.

Come on over, dinner is at 7.


At March 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eastview Elementary 6th grade, Ashley O.

I see a pointy tail, could that be a stinger?

At March 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eastview 6th grade Morgan, Where in the ocean, sandy bottoms, rockey bottoms, kelp forest, coral reef, muddy bottom, does the sea creature live?

At March 22, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joseph-Eastview: Are the babies dinoflagellate?


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