Ghost Shrimp are Invading the Texas Coast and Creating Cool Mini Volcanoes
There is a beautiful side to Mother Nature and there is a powerful, and sometimes destructive, side to Mother Nature. Today, I'm going to focus on the beautiful side of Mother Nature. We live in a world where humans and animals must coexist to give life to each other. We may not like all of the animals on Earth, and some can downright kill us in a heartbeat, but we all serve a purpose in our ecosystem. Case and point is what's happening along the Texas coast right now. Ghost shrimp are invading the beaches for a good reason and creating cool mini volcanoes on the beach in the process.
The Gulf of Mexico is full of a shrimp known as the Ghost Shrimp. They get their name because they are completely transparent. They can grow to as long as 3 to 4 inches. One interesting aspect of the Ghost Shrimp is even though they look like a shrimp, they are more closely related to a crab. Many fisherman like to catch Ghost Shrimp by using a plunger type tool to suck the shrimp out of their hole. They can only extract 20 per day, though. What is being seen on the Texas coast today is very beneficial to the environment.
Beneficial to the Environment
Ghost Shrimp can burrow up to four feet below the sand. During that burrowing, they create a volcano-like mound on the surface. They do this to bring oxygen into the sand that helps organic matter to decompose which helps the sediment to be more fertile allowing for food to be created for other sea life (nps.gov).
Video was captured at the Quintana Beach County Park of a Ghost Shrimp burrowing in the sand:
Pretty cool stuff. If you see these volcano like mounds along the beach during a visit to the Texas coast, this is what is going on.
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