A recent study by the University of Exeter which focused on the tiny crab (Clibanarius erythropus), gifted ecologists around the UK quite a scare on the 20th of January.
This little crab is part of the hermit crab family and lives in rockpools in the Mediterranean, Black Sea, and now more recently (2016) in Cornwall after not being seen for thirty-six years!
While our little crab is thought to have migrated from Northern France in Brittany, The Centre for Ecology in Exeter stated that the crab has only made the channel crossing just twice in fifty years.
This is due to the currents only being suitable every ten years, although even on those currents, the time it takes for larvae to be carried to the UK is longer than most of the species can survive especially in the open water.
Other species groups such as sea snails, sponges and seaweed just can’t survive in the open water like crabs and other crustaceans.
The temperature of the South-West of the UK has fluctuated over the past sixty years and during the warmer times, species that live in colder waters begin to disappear but reappear when temperatures fall again.
Researchers have said that as species die out due to our warming seas, they will not be replaced by warmer-water species moving northwards (such as Clibanarius erythropus) and the richness of our rockpools and beaches will decrease, leaving our sea and intertidal zones less rich in life and therefore vibrancy.