Name: Sand Bubbler Crab
Scientific Subfamily: Scopimera inflata
Distribution: tropical beaches
If you ever find yourself walking along a beach and you see little sand balls arranged in pretty patterns, then you are in the vicinity of a sand bubbler.
These tiny little crabs are around 1cm wide across the carapace, and live in little burrows in the sand. Those little balls you see are a byproduct of their dinner. Once the high tide is over, they spend a few hours digging themselves out of their collapsed burrow and clean it up before feeding time starts. They use their claws to scoop sand towards their mouth and once all the nutrients have been sucked away, the sand balls are discarded about 20-30cm away from the burrow’s entrance. This is repeated until there is a beautiful pattern of balls around the burrow.