• Aerial View of Padre Island National Seashore

    Padre Island

    National Seashore Texas

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    The visitor center main phone line is out. To reach the park call (361) 949-8069 or (361) 949-4793. The issue has been reported, however the phone company is having difficulty locating the problem. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Sargassum Swimming Crab

Sargassum Swimming Crab

Blending in with the free-floating masses of orange-brown Sargassum seaweed that seasonally drift onto the beach at Padre Island National Seashore, Sargassum swimming crabs rely on their fantastic camouflage and ability to swim for survival. As with other swimming crabs, they come equipped with tiny swim paddles on their hind legs. They are, however, also capable of crawling on land. Sargassum swimming crabs aren’t alone in this fragile, complicated mini-ecosystem. There are as many as 70 species living in these floating masses. Their neighbors include larval crabs, shrimp, flatworms, hydroids, tiny fish, seahorses and nudibranchs. Sargassum swimming crabs both aggressively hunt and wait for prey to wander close enough to deliver an unsuspecting lethal jab. The crabs also feed on less complex invertebrates, such as hydroids and bryozoans, which also inhabit the seaweed. These layers of interdependence in their enable these crabs and other species to coexist and keep their shared Sargassum home in balance.

Did You Know?

White-tailed buck (odocoileus virginianus)

The white-tailed deer on the island are not considered the island's largest native mammal because they are believed to come across the Laguna Madre from the mainland. Coyotes are considered the island's largest native mammal. More...