Tuesday, October 4, 2011

World Animal Day

Happy World Animal Day!

I didn't know about this day until I looked at my calendar yesterday and saw it written in (below the First Quarter moon picture). World Animal Day is celebrated every year on October 4th - yet another reason to love October (you know: fall, leaves changing colors, all the squash you can eat, snow coming down the mountains, and HALLOWEEN!!!).

To celebrate World Animal Day, I thought I'd take a little inspiration from my Halloween decorations:

from Martha Stewart's Halloween craft collection

and turn it into a crab-tastic piece that's both fun AND educational. This way you can use it for your WAD party (I'm sure you're having one) as decor, a conversation starter, and a way to learn a little bit more about the animals I love: crabs!

Why am I making a ball out of crabs? Red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus) exhibit a podding behavior during the day, balling up with hundreds of their friends (they meander off at night to find dinner).

that's a whole lotta red king crabs!

See where I'm going with this? What you'll need to do is print out 12 of these for a king crab pod:

imagine all the colors you could use for this! Red, blue, golden...

Now the fun starts: connect three crabs together at one of the 5 points with a brad. I like to work around one main crab until I have 5 attached around him, leaving me with 6 total connected.

3 crabs joined together at one of the 5 points

6 connected (5 surrounding the main crab)

Next, take your 6 crabs and form them as a bowl in order to be able to attach 5 more crabs. Again, each point will connect 3 crabs.

joining 2 points in order to add
a third crab to this joint

the blue "brads" are where the original crabs
from the first group of 6 are joined together
to add a new layer of crabs;
the red "brad" is where the new layer of
crabs are connecting to each other

The last crab is the trickiest, but once he's on you'll have a wonderful, 12-strong pod of kings!

ready to hang for your WAD party!

Read about podding king crabs off of Kodiak, AK:
Dew, C. B. 1990. Podding behavior of red king crab, Paralithodes camtschatica. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 47: 1944-1958.

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