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Swarm of Crab Mothers Cross Traffic to Lay Thousands of Eggs


An army of Red land crabs migrates miles with some mothers preparing to lay up to 80,000 eggs apiece. These eggs need to saltwater to survive so the mother’s mission is to get to sea in a journey fraught with danger.


- [Narrator] Here, near the Bay of Pigs on the South Coast, an army is gathering.

(whimsical music) In one of nature's great migrations, Red land crabs are on the move.

And many carry a precious cargo, up to 80,000 eggs apiece that need water to survive: salt water.

The mothers' mission is to get to the sea.

That can be 4-1/2 miles away, a journey fraught with danger.

Millions of years of evolution has equipped the crabs to survive in the forests at night.

(engine rumbling) But roads and traffic are an entirely different matter.

Their journey becomes a dance with death.

(truck rumbling) Despite their losses, most crabs make it through and press on with their journey to the sea.

(bright music) Now, on the final stretch, they can smell the salt in the air.

(seagulls squawking) Though surrounded by ocean, these red crabs have evolved to live almost entirely on land, but there is one deep link to their ancient past.

They must deliver their eggs to the sea.

Once the mother feels salt water, she releases her eggs in what seems like a frenzy of joy.


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