Tag Archives: crustacean

Biodiversity challenge – Yeti crab

Meals on legs

he’s the hairy-pincered gent
hanging out near a hydrothermal vent

he’s the hirsute deep sea diner
grazing on a methane gas refiner

he’s the furry organic farmer
plucking micro meals from his armour

he’s a self-made cafeteria
growing his own bacteria.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014

Biodiversity challenge – Wattled curassow

Kill or curassow?
wattled_curassow_ellen_hobgood

Wattled curassow by Ellen Hobgood www.ellenhobgoodgallery.com

What now,
Wattled curassow?
Whither with your
Unique beacon beak?
We wonder how
You’ll find a refuge
From the human deluge
Ripping through
Your pristine pad.
Too bad there’s
No room for you
On the redrawn maps.
See cracks appearing,
Watch Crax disappearing
Through the gaps.
A once intact
Amazonian tract
Man fractured
Beyond repair.
So where now,
Curassow?

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2014

Species profile: Wattled curassow

IUCN Red List Category: Endangered

Wattled curassows are confined to the flooded riparian forest and overgrown shores of rivers in the Andean lowlands and Amazon basin, where they feed mainly on small fish and crustaceans. Widespread human colonisation has resulted in severe fragmentation of the curassow’s habitat and exposed it to the threat of commercial and subsistence hunting, often with shotguns. Populations have declined alarmingly in recent years.

Biodiversity challenge – Fiddler crab

Fit as a fiddler
Fiddler crab

Illustration by Mishka Westell/BBC Wildlife Magazine www.discoverwildlife.com www.mishkawestell.com

Cocksure crustaceans,
Shell-suited north- and southpaws
Dwarfed by insubordinate claws,
Scuttle free
From subterranean sanctuary
And loiter by their intertidal stations.
Stalk-eyed wide boys
On burrowed time,
Nippers out for a ritual bout
Of pincer posing,
Flaunt flags of semi-semaphore.
Fightin’ fit
In their chromatic chitin kit:
Blue is the colour;
The future’s orange;
Come on ye reds.
Not waving, but downing
Their imaginary pints.
Sidling into hole position,
Sizing up the opposition:
Mine’s bigger than yours.
Rebels with outsized claws.

© Tim Knight and timknightwriter, 2006.