Crab invasion threatens Antarctic
An army of shell-crushing crabs is poised to invade parts of the Antarctic Ocean that were off limits to the crustaceans for millions of years because of the intensely cold water.
Scientists believe that, as global warming causes sea temperatures in the region to rise, the unique shallow-water habitat of the Antarctic Peninsula will be transformed by the mass arrival of killer crabs.
Crabs are one of the top predators of the seabed but their enforced absence from the cold waters of the Antarctic has created an unusual community of shelled creatures that could disappear once the crabs invade, scientists said yesterday.
"The crabs are on the doorstep," said Sven Thatje of the National Oceanography Centre at Southampton University.