Sunday, April 6, 2014

Crab Shell

"Crab Shell"
oil on panel
6" x 6"
I spent a couple of hours painting with a group of artists today. We all were painting crab shells, also called exuviae.

Crabs have to keep moulting many times to become adults. "When preparing for moult, the old shell is softened and partly eroded away, while the rudimentary beginnings of a new shell form under it. At the time of moulting, the crab takes in a lot of water to expand and crack open the old shell at a line of weakness along the back edge of the carapace. The crab must then extract all of itself – including its legs, mouthparts, eyestalks, and even the lining of the front and back of the digestive tract – from the old shell. This is a difficult process that takes many hours, and if a crab gets stuck it will die. After freeing itself from the old shell the crab is extremely soft and hides until its new shell has hardened."(Wikipedia)

A friend of mine found several exuviaes floating in a river, she dried them and was very generous to share her finds with us.
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