Christmas Island – Red Crab Migration

The next destination in our trip Around the World in 50 Experiments is Christmas Island.

Christmas Island is an Australian territory in the Indian Ocean, about 1600 miles northwest of Perth. It’s a small island, only 52 square miles in size and is home to around 2000 people. Most inhabitants live on the northern edge of the island.

Christmas Island was named by Captain William Mynors, who arrived on the island on Christmas Day in 1643.

Christmas Island is home to many incredible species of wildlife, including birds, reptiles and marine life.

Visitors love Christmas Island because of its National Parks, biodiversity and breathtaking beauty.

Christmas Island Science Activities

Red Crab Migration

Red crabs are unique to Christmas Island, with over 120 million of them living in the rainforests for most of the year.

Between October and December each year, 40 – 50 million red crabs make a dangerous journey from the forest to the ocean to mate and lay eggs.

When the crabs reach the beach, the males dig burrows, where females join them to mate. After mating, the females stay behind in the burrow, and the males head home. Each female crab lays around 100,000 eggs!

When the moon reaches its last quarter, the crabs enter the sea at the turn of high tide and release their eggs.

Christmas Island Science Activities

Red crab migration

As the crabs migrate, one of the main hazards is roads. Special bridges have been built over some major roads to provide a safe route for the crabs.

Use the challenge sheet below to design a bridge or tunnel to help red crabs survive the perilous journey.

More activity ideas

Read more about red crabs and their annual migration.

Don’t forget to download the passport and choose the next destination for your adventure around the world.

Last Updated on November 17, 2023 by Emma Vanstone

The post Christmas Island – Red Crab Migration appeared first on Science Experiments for Kids.

Science Experiments for Kids Read More 

Leave a Reply