Ten-legged alien

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This beautiful and delicate creature is a relatively abundant inhabitant of the Caribbean coastal waters. It belongs to the order of decapoda which is Latin for ten (deca) legged (poda), but most non-scientists will just refer to the name crabs while talking about these creatures. The Yellowline Arrow Crab (Stenorhynchus seticornis) will reach a size of about 10 cm. across its skinny legs. As with all crabs, the front pair is transformed into scissor-like tools which are used for food collecting as well as defense. The front of its carapace is elongated and looks like a long snout. The creature feeds on bristle worms and other small invertebrates. In general it reacts totally fearless to divers, so you’ll be able to take a good look at it while diving.

This particular shot looks really wobbly. It is because it has been recorded in less than 3 feet of relatively wavy water. One of my principles while recording underwater footage is never to touch the reef or other living parts of the underwater world. Buoyancy control is essential, but at times rather difficult, as is recording steady shots. Rest assured: no creatures suffered during filming of this sequence!

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