Thousands of dead #crabs washing up along coast of #Oregon, #USA

More Rarities: Another Squid, Massive Dead Crab Strandings on Oregon coast

(Oregon Coast) – More strange finds on the Oregon coast this week: yet another rare squid and massive amount of crabs were found on the beaches lately. (Photos courtesy Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium).

More strange finds on the Oregon coast this week: yet another rare squid and massive amount of crabs were found on the beaches lately. (Photos courtesy Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium).

A whole lotta dead Dungeness crabs are washing up as of late, and it has some a little concerned.

Some of it is just the usual crab molting that happens right about now: beaches this time of year can be flooded with the empty shells of crabs that have shed their outer layer as part of their normal growth process.

But many of the crabs are simply dead carcasses, with their meaty bodies still inside the shells. It’s an unusually large amount of them: just about every beach on the Oregon coast is strewn with hundreds of them, sometimes thousands.

The culprit is a simple upwelling. This is when cold water gets churned up suddenly by a certain set of weather conditions and it brings up gobs of things from the bottom. This is definitely responsible for all the crabs washing up.

However, are there more dead crabs than usual? Is something causing them to die off in bigger numbers, or is it just that the ocean bottom got scoured a bit more than usual?

Cannon Beach’s Haystack Rock Awareness Program thinks it is an unusual amount of dead bodies mixed in with the molts, according to their Facebook posts. They believe it’s quite possible there’s a bigger die-off than usual.

There is evidence this is just a normal upwelling event and not a die-off, however. Seaside Aquarium education specialist Tiffany Boothe said she has found lots of other things as well.

“Along with the dead crabs we are also seeing a lot of tube worm casings, mole crab molts, and hatched out snail eggs,” she said.

Courtesy of beachconnection.net

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