Seen a Crab With Mittens? Tell Smithsonian

By Brandon Benavides
|  Monday, May 9, 2011  |  Updated 11:22 AM EDT
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Seen a Crab With Mittens? Tell Smithsonian

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A crab with mittens has invaded the East Coast.

Although the crabs may look cute with their puffy claws, the Chinese mitten crabs are banned in the U.S. without a proper permit because they can damage the environment.

The Smithsonian Marine Invasions Research Lab needs your help tracking the elusive crab.

It can burrow into mud and other areas, damaging stream banks, dams, levees and water intake pipes.

The crabs were first spotted in the Chesapeake in 2006, and researchers want to know the impact they are having on native crabs and the environment.

If you come across a mitten crab, the Smithsonian says don’t throw it back alive, but freeze it or put it on ice, take a photo, note where it was found and contact them.

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