The miracle of the crabs after the first rain in Playa Grande

One evening Playa Grande enjoyed rain – after seven months and after a terribly hot day. After the rain, the air cools down. Refreshing. The next morning we discover a few crabs on the road when walking to the crocodile river, a crab here and a crab there.

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I also discover some in the pool in the afternoon, when having a swim to cool down.

In the evening we walk to the beach to see the sunset. It is rustling on the ground in the forest. These are all crabs. Masses of them. Also the roads are full of crabs. And so is the garden of our hotel El Manglar.

On the next morning, the beach has changed. It is all humpy now.

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These are little holes, each with a crab in it.

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A crab, peeps out of a hole and disappears again. I cannot convince another crabs to come out.

Coming back from the beach, I observe one guy from the hotel clean the children’s pool, assisted by  two girls and the hotel dog.

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He drops the crabs across the fence such that they can continue their way.

The area around the main pool is also full of crabs. Some if them are captured in doorsteps, where they desperately try to escape.

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The lady cleaning our hotel in the morning gathers the crabs. They end up in a huge red plastic bucket – a heap of bustling crabs.

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Then she empties the bucket on the road to give the crabs the opportunity to continue their journey and complete their mission.

A niracle. I want to learn more about these crabs and check out the internet. They are called Tajalines or land crabs (see also the Website of Nicoya), most likely closely related to Gecarcinus quadraticus (see wikipedia). I read that they live in tropical America and West Africa. At the first rain, they come out of their inland homes that can be found as far as eight kilometers away from the sea. They live up to 11-13 years and are mature at the age of 4. They mate on land and leave their underground homes at the beginning of the rain season. Yes, this is correct, the recent evening rainfall has opened the rain season in Playa Grande. The female crabs carry the eggs to the beach – each about 300000-700000 eggs – to deposit them on the shore, as I read in one of the sources. The larvae end up in the ocean, where only few survive to become a crab within a month.

In the internet I found a blogger-surfer admiring the crabs, when camping on the beach. His point of view were the many humps that he discovered, when waking up in the morning.

Yes, a miracle, and I am happy to have seen this wonder of nature. One day later, it becomes quiet again, only a few crabs are left on the roads and in the forest leading to the beach.


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