Do you ever have that awkward moment where you want to high-five someone and they leave you hanging?
^ not this guy ^
Or that embarrassing moment went you say "High five," but the person only has 4 fingers? (That actually happened to me. On a boat in the middle of the Bering Sea. So I had no where to hide in shame. *sigh*)
ANYWAY, this little guy has the opposite problem. You see, crabs like to offer each other a "snap two" with their chelae, but this fellow has THREE CLAWS!
"I had a weird molting experience (probably),
so now I have extra claw-flair."
He can go lefty with no problem, but the minute a person catches him with a drink in his left claw, it's all over. Just imagine it:
"Snap two, bro!" says an unsuspecting crab.
"Um, er, snap four?" replies the embarrassed crab, offering his duo of claw craziness.
"Oh, never mind..."
Luckily our mutated little friend is staying at the Seaside Aquarium in Oregon, so at least he doesn't have to compete for food with what may be a difficult claw to maneuver.
"You try taking a clam apart with this!"
And although the look of his claw is a bit unsettling, he's not the only crab out there to have a strange claw morphology. It can happen if the claw is injured before or during the molting process: crabs can regenerate their lost or damaged limbs, but sometimes the signalling for "build a new claw" goes haywire, and you get something like this:
an edible crab from Northumberland, UK
Nature, you're crazy!