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Ghost crab

The Ghost Crab, Ocypode quadrata, also called Sand Crab, can be frequently sighted scurrying along the beaches of the Eastern United States between sundown and dawn.

These crabs are called ghosts because of their ability to instantly disappear from sight, scuttling on their tiptoes at speeds up to 10 miles per hour, while making sharp directional changes. These creatures have two black eyes, with sharp 360 degree vision which they use to see flying insects and catch them in midair. The ghost crab, however can not see directly up, so it must burrow into the ground to prevent birds from catching it.

The Ghost crab tunnels down four feet into the ground at a 45 degree angle, creating 1-2 inch sized holes, which speckle the beach. When the day turns to night, these crabs will sprint to the ocean in order to obtain oxygen from the water which washes over their gills, and in June females will carry their eggs into the ocean. Ghost crabs hibernate during the winter, holding their breath for six weeks, by storing oxygen in sacs near the gills.