This furry little creature is called a Teddy Bear Crab because its body and legs are covered in fur (setae). You can imagine my surprise to find a crab covered in fur, but there are actually many different species of this little crab. I took this photo in a very shallow reef off the coast of Vanuatu (a pacific island nation about 3 hours flight from the east coast of Australia). This shallow reef was partly exposed each day at low tide and was a great place to observe and photograph many weird and wonderful sea critters. This particular crab is covered in fur to trap sand and sediment which help it camouflage itself on the sandy floor. Some species of this crab have been seen carrying around mini stinging anemones in their two front claws to present to any potential threats it might encounter. A very ingenuitive way of forcing other marine creatures to be portable body guards.
For other posts on underwater creatures click here.