Coast to Coral The Wonderful World of Crabs and their diversity
Join Reef Check Australia and friends on the second Tuesday night of each month in your lounge room/office/comfy chair, for an evening of discovery, inspiration and appreciation of our local marine, coastal and catchment environments.
This month we will hear from Peter Davie from the Queensland Museum.
Peter worked as Curator of Crustacea at the Queensland Museum, from 1978 until his retirement at the end of 2018. He specializes in the taxonomy (the science of classification) of crabs. He has written and collaborated on around 150 scientific papers, 4 books, and numerous popular articles. These have included the descriptions of over 100 new species, 20 new genera, and two new families of crustaceans. He has served as President of the Australian Marine Conservation Society, and is now a lifetime honorary member; he has also served as Queensland President of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, and two terms on the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Fraser Island World Heritage Area. He is the principal author of the best selling Wild Guide to Moreton Bay (1998, 2011).
About the Talk: The Wonderful World of Crabs and their diversity
Crabs are truly charismatic animals. They first emerged as a separate group from other Crustacea during the early Jurassic, around 180 million years ago, and so were witness to the reign of the dinosaurs. Worldwide over 1.5 million tonnes of “true” crabs are consumed annually; and while crabs are not naturally poisonous, some can incorporate a number of powerful toxins into their flesh from the food they eat.
Crabs play critical, and often keystone, roles in the healthy ecology of coral reefs, mangrove swamps, and shallow coastal waters. Armies of tiny crabs keep our beaches clean, either by ravenous scavenging of anything dead, or by sifting masses of sand through their mouths at every low tide, pulling out the microscopic detritus of animals and plants. Crab larvae are a crucially important component of the plankton community upon which larval fish and other marine animals depend.
The first human name for a crab dates back to the Sumerians around 3000 yrs BC, and since then we have described around 7,300 species worldwide, and about 1,000 species have been recorded from Australia. This talk will highlight the diversity of shapes, colours and lifestyles of crabs in South Eastern Queensland, and the role they play in the ecology of our coastal waters.
Virtual doors (zoom) opens at 6.25pm for a 6:30 pm start.
Stay after the event for networking and nibbles (BYO obviously!) - get your burning questions answered by Peter and continue your thoughts, ideas and sea-minded discussions with your local community, all from the comfort of your couch!
Bring a mate and share in the discovery!
At Reef Check Australia we’re all about inspiring our mates and we love to read your thoughts! So, share your favourite parts about the night and tag us! Reef Check Australia #coasttocoral
This initiative is hosted by Reef Check Australia, and proudly supported by oh so many groups including the City of Gold Coast, Port of Brisbane Pty Ltd, Sunshine Coast Council's Environment Levy partnerships grant, The June Canavan Foundation and Townsville City Council.
Future talks take place on the second Tuesday night of each month, with a new, interesting and engaging speaker.
For more information contact [email protected]ia.org