It's time for Friday's Featured Creature!
Taking a rare daytime constitutional, this Red Swamp Crayfish comes face to face with a terrifying threat: a giant holding a cell phone. Instinctively, it raises its claw in defensive posture, flexing it slightly in a vain attempt at intimidation. When that doesn’t work it bids a hasty retreat. Though small in stature, these aquatic arthropods are ecosystem engineers. Their tiny mud towers dot the prairie wetlands. Each tower marks the entrance to a crawfish burrow that goes up to three feet into the earth. The crawfish rely on these burrows for protection from the elements, predators, and as a way to access food. They’re not usually active during the day, preferring to wait in their burrows for dusk, when they emerge to forage.