Spongebob the Crab.
Spongebob in the Islands
A rare species of sponge crab that is normally found off the coast of Africa was found off the coast of Alderney.
The rare crab which hides beneath a spongy shell surprised a fisherman when it appeared in his lobster pot.
It was obviously tempted by the mackerel bait and is only the third of this type to be found in 20 years.
They are usually found in the south Mediterranean, the Azores and West Africa.
The sponge crab was taken to the Weymouth Sea Life Park to recuperate and then was put on a display.
The crustacean's been named Spongebob after the cartoon character Spongebob Squarepants.
Cartoon Character Spongebob Squarepants.
But it's actually two creatures in one - the crab has been named Bob and the sponge, well sponge!
The sponge sits on the carapace (shell) of the crab. They are one of most ancient and basic forms of life on the planet.
All sponges do is continuously pump water through it's body taking out the nutrients and minerals. The crab uses it as camouflage to stay hidden as it forages along rocky seabeds.
The crab is 10cm across the carapace, which is a rusty brown colour, he is quite furry to the touch and the bright orange sponge covers the top of his shell.
Whilst he looks similar to other shore crabs the bright pink claws make him stand out.
Bob and Sponge are now on display with the baby electric ray and according to Emma Cartwright from the Weymouth Sea Life Park they're getting on really well.
last updated: 30/05/2008 at 12:38
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