Rare find on central Florida beaches
More than 500 remnants of prehistory - fossilized ghost crabs - have been found in the sand between Melbourne Beach and Satellite Beach. Although picked up for decades by beachcombers, these specimens were taken between 1992 and 2000. The find has been documented by Richard Turner, biological sciences, and published in the Journal of Crustacean Biology.
The Holocene and Pleistocene specimens, between 7,000 and 110,000 years-old, had been exposed by beach erosion. Biologic or geologic processes easily destroy the crabs thin exoskeletons. They have been preserved, most likely because they died in their burrows, possibly from winterkill, and were not exposed to the wind, sea, or predators.
Jay Wilson | EurekAlert!
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