The bright red Sally Lightfoot Crab really standout on the beach in the Galapagos

The wave broke over the rocks and washed past the Sally Lightfoot Crab.  The crab was not disturbed as each wave broke on shore. (G.Thomas Bancroft)

The wave broke over the rocks and washed past the Sally Lightfoot Crab. The crab was not disturbed as each wave broke on shore. (G.Thomas Bancroft)

I had the opportunity to go to the Galapagos Islands last April.  It was a marvelous trip and if you every have a chance, I highly recommend you go.  These islands were made famous by Darwin’s work on evolution because of all the unique species on the islands and how closely related species vary between individual islands.

One of the remarkable species we saw was the Sally Lightfoot Crabs (Grapsus grapsus).  These crabs are brightly colored with red above and blue below.  You can spot them from several hundred yards and generally they will stay put until you approach within a few yards.  They get their name because they run really quickly across short stretches of water and people thought they could stay on the top of the water.  These crabs feed on algae and detritus.  They move back and forth with the tide, always staying really close to the water.  The crab in the picture above was busy grazing on algae as the wave repeatedly washed over it.  It didn’t seem to be disturbed at all by the water rushing by.  We saw them all over the place and they always were fascinating to watch.  Their bright colors always made them jump out of the landscape.  We watched a number of them picking dead skin off Marine Iguanas.  Sometimes they would pinch the iguana and the iguana would try to chase them away but the crab would just move to another part of the iguana.

I have loaded some additional pictures from the Galapagos on my web site (www.thomasbancroft.com) if you are interested in seeing them.  In addition, I have done some updating to the site so people can order prints of pictures on the site or in the blogs.  I personally print each picture.

The Spring Best of Northwest 2013 Art Show is March 23 and 24th (this weekend) at the Smith Cove Cruise Terminal on Pier 91 next to the Magnolia Bridge, 2001 West Garfield St, Seattle.  I will be there showing  my photographs.  Come on down to enjoy the artwork, food, drink, and music.  I would love to chat with you.

 

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