Friends of Haystack Rock
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This month's Creature Feature
Skeleton Shrimp

Photo Courtesy of Tiffany Boothe, Seaside Aquarium
"They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're altogether ooky, the Caperllidae family"

Skeleton shrimp are sometimes referred to as the "Praying Mantis of the Sea." Maybe you've already encountered these small creepy creatures, while perusing Haystack's tidepools. They're hard to ignore. Hundreds, thousands, on the right day even millions, all waiting --clinging wantonly to hydrozoans and bryozoans. These hosts, of course, hide the skeleton shrimp's identity. As the shrimp cling to their camouflage, they sway in sync with the pulse of the tide; and when the terrifying time is right they strike their prey with sharp, lighting-quick claws! Just be grateful that due to a happy coincidence of scale, you've been excluded from their menu.

Skeleton shrimp are found in all oceans, and although most inhabit the low-to-mid intertidal range, there are a few species that live at great depths. They're omnivorous, and thus feed on a variety of the ocean's delicacies such as diatoms, protozoans and copepods. Throughout the family, males are larger than females. As with other amphipods, skeleton shrimp shed their exoskeletons in order to grow. Mating can only occur directly after the female molts, at which point her shell is still soft. As a finale, and certainly what earned the skeleton shrimp their comparison to the praying mantis, some females will indeed kill and eat their mate after copulation. The female accomplishes this by injecting venom from her claw into what at that point, may only be considered her Ex.

Photo Courtesy of Tiffany Boothe , Seaside Aquarium 
2016 Library Lecture Series
First Wednesday of Each Month

November 9 Wayne Hoffman
December 14 Neal Maine
January 11 Roy Lowe
February 8 Bob Van Dyk
March 8 Tommy Swearingen
April 12 Tom Horning

Lectures are held at the Cannon Beach Library
131 N. Hemlock

Friends of Haystack Rock is a non-profit organization that provides guidance and financial support for the Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) in cooperation with the City of Cannon Beach promoting the preservation and protection of the intertidal life and birds that inhabit the Marine Garden and the Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge at Haystack Rock.
Friends of Haystack Rock is guided by a volunteer board of directors and advisors consisting of committed community members.

Friends of Haystack Rock
PO Box 1222
Cannon Beach, OR 97110

Board Members: Tracy Abel, Stacy Benefield, Angela Benton, Susan Boac,
Tiffany Boothe, Keith Chandler, Craig Davidson, Lori Fraser, Nadine Norquist, and Claudine Rhen
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