Earlier today as I was walking along the beach, I found two giant dead sheep crabs washed up on shore. Intrigued by the fact that I had never seen crabs this big and this dead, without butter, I decided to research more about them, and why also why they might be dead.
Sheep crabs are the largest members of the California spider crabs. They are slow moving with a carapace that tapers to a point. Juvenile sheep crabs decorate their carapaces in order camouflage themselves, and stop this behavior upon reaching adulthood. At this point their carapaces become covered in a thin film of green algae, which then serves as camoflauge. Males of the species spend winter in deep water, and both genders migrate to shallower water in spring to mate. Females can also store sperm for multiple broods, allowing them to fertilize eggs in the absence of males.
Males of the species are occasionally hunted for their claws, but this has been banned and the market for male sheep crab claws has declined. Sheep crabs are primarily scavengers, but will go after live prey.
Based on this information I cannot reason why the sheep crabs were dead. I tried researching possible reasons, and did not make any head way. Both crabs were intact and showed no sign of attempted predation or any sort of serious trauma. Still it was amazing to see such gigantic creatures washed up on our shore.