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Orange County | IN BRIEF / COAST

Massive Crab Invasion Just Nature's Work

June 09, 2002|From Times Staff Reports

The latest wave of thousands of tiny red pelagic crabs that have been washing up on Southern California beaches in recent weeks drew stares at Orange County beaches Saturday.

The crabs, which migrate north on warm currents from Baja, "swim like a lobster, have claws like crabs but they also resemble shrimp, except they are bright red," said Chris Clarke, Huntington Beach marine safety supervisor. The crabs periodically wash ashore, die and get carried back into the surf. They appear every six to 10 years in a pattern that's entirely natural.

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