Dismembered crab carcasses litter the trail that runs through the salt marsh. Seagulls fly onto the trail to crack open and eat crabs found in the marsh. Although Rock Crabs are most common, Green Crabs are also on the seagulls’ menu. Sometimes cracked Northern Moon Snail shells can be found as well, remnants of a tasty breakfast.
Although Rock Crabs can run sideways at great speed, and are masterful at wedging themselves between the rocks along the shore, they are still easily caught by the seagulls. These crabs are most active at night.
Crabs are Decapods, having five pairs of legs. Their abdomens are small and curled under their bodies. They share the lobsters’ marvelous ability to regenerate legs, claws, eyes or antennae. They are predators and scavengers, eating dead creatures found on the bottom of the marsh and sea. Common prey are starfish, sea urchins and other crabs. Crab shells fade in the sunlight, becoming a light orange color over time.
Neither Green nor Rock Crabs are consumed by people in Nova Scotia. Snow Crabs, more common in Cape Breton, are the type usually eaten here.