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Featured Shellfish - Rhinoceros crab

 Featured Shellfish May 2012

...more crab than Rhinoceros

The Rhinoceros crab, is likely called such because instead of the typically divided rostrum (front projection of carapace), its rostrum is fused, leaving a small single projection.

Another common name for this crab is the "golf ball crab", presumably referring to the round hump in the middle back part of their carapace.

rhinoceros top
Rhinoceros Crab, Rhinolithodes wosnessenskii

.A hard crab to find

This particular crab was found whole in the stomach of a Cabezon, as part of research performed on the diets of nearshore fish.

Cabezon have very large stomachs and mouths, so the stomach contents are often whole and interesting... The Cabezon on the left eat a couple pounds of snail eggs! the contents of this fishes stomach even included several whole snails.

Rocks and shells are often in their stomachs, a whole western grebe was once found in a cabezon stomach!

cabezon stomach
Cabezon stomach contents

A simlar releative

The closely related Heart crab, Phyllolithodes papillosus, can be found a little more easily as it is in shallower water and is slightly larger.

heart crab
Heart Crab
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