Il mondo degli animali: i nostri coabitanti

Candy Crab-People: Little Sweethearts of the Sea

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Coral reefs are an essential ecosystem, which provide food and a shelter for many marine beings, and we candy crab-people are but one of them. My people, the candy crabs, are formally known by scientists as Hoplophrys oatesi. We are tiny pink and white with spiky bodies, and we are abundant in the Indo Pacific. We use our four pairs of hind legs to walk, and our claws as hands to grab onto things like food, as well as to defend ourselves. We are the only kind in our genus, Hoplophrys, and that makes us pretty unique, don’t you think? Our adorable appearance is a result of adapting to our habitat. We mimic the color of the soft corals we choose to live on, as our camouflage protects us from danger.

The host corals provide us with shelter and food. In return, we help remove debris or sediments from the corals to keep them clean. Besides, we also protect our host corals and keep outsiders away. All crab-people in coral reefs take this role extremely seriously because corals can’t survive without protection from us.

In fact, around 25% of the ocean’s beings rely on coral reefs for shelter, food and reproduction, and we all are calling out for help. Do you know that more than half of all coral reefs globally have been destroyed? Climate change makes the temperature of the ocean rise, which leads to acidification. This can cause stress to corals and leads to coral bleaching, in which corals turn white. Adding to that are pollution and destructive fishing practices, which are causing further harm to vulnerable corals. Unfortunately, coral reefs are now at risk of extinction.

Thousands of scientists from around the world have repeated calls for urgent action to protect and restore coral reefs. They warn us that due to climate change we could be near the “tipping point” and heading towards “worldwide collapse.” Our time is running out. Please adopt a vegan lifestyle and help to spread the word about this vital planet-saving diet because this is the fastest and most effective way to curb climate change.

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