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To collect crabs on Dickens Seamount, we lowered a metal platform, or elevator, loaded with crab traps over the side of the R/V Atlantis. The elevator was weighted with 135 lbs and an acoustic release. After spending 18 hrs at a depth of 546 m, the release was triggered and the elevator floated to the surface.

Here we see the yellow transponder buoys floating by the ship. The Atlantis crew grabbed the buoy line and hauled up the elevator and traps that were dangling below.

As you can see, our bait of cat food, herring, and glow sticks worked: there is a scarlet king crab in one of the traps.

Scarlet king crabs are from the genus Lithodes, which means "rock-shaped."

Here we can see the crab's internal organs; and these are the crab’s gills.

We can tell a female by the rounded shape of its apron, or underside. This crab happens to be a gravid, or egg-bearing female. Here we have a nice shot of her bright orange eggs.

Related Links

Gulf of Alaska 2004

Gulf of Alaska 2004: August 10 Log

NOAA Ocean Explorer Gallery