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Atlantic Ghost Crab

As the name might imply, Ocypode quadrata is found in the Atlantic coastal areas of North and South America. They are one of 28 extant species within Ocypode that share the common name of Ghost Crab. Members of the genus are found throughout the world. They get their name from their ability to blend in with their surroundings and their partially translucent bodies.

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Atlantic Ghost Crabs live in burrows that they dig themselves. These are placed above the tideline, go down at a 45 degree angle, and can become 3-4 feet deep. They are built from wet sand for sturdiness, and the crabs use burrows for both shelter and for hibernation. Atlantic Ghost Crabs cannot swim, but they must live near water as it is required for their respiration. When hibernating, oxygen is stored in special sacs, allowing them to remain dormant for about 6 weeks. Females also need water in order to reproduce, as that is where they lay their eggs. Young crabs are even more camouflaged than the adults, and can be extremely difficult to see.

The eyes of the Atlantic Ghost Crabs can rotate a full 360 degrees, which is a good thing when you have so many natural predators. Birds and Raccoons regularly feed on Ghost Crabs, and in some areas the crabs are consumed by Humans as well. Atlantic Ghost Crabs are most active at night, and are very opportunistic omnivores.

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