oil on panel
6" x 6"
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.