Rising water temperatures are inviting a new, violent predator to the waters of the Antarctic continental shelf: the king crab. The soft-bodied animals living in this region such as sea stars and marine worms become prime targets for the new predator. With such vulnerable organisms located in the waters of Antarctica, rising temperatures brought about by climate change have the potential to negatively impact an ecosystem unprepared for this powerful predator.
Known to handle much stronger prey, the king crab crushes, “the outer skeletons of animals like starfish, urchins and mollusks,” and makes a meal out of the soft-bodied organism living within. Normally, king crabs cannot withstand the freezing temperatures of the Antarctic water. However, according to Richard Aronson, a professor of biological sciences at Florida Institute of Technology, global climate change has increased the water’s temperature, allowing the king crabs to invade in the Antarctic depths. Over the past 50 years, the water temperature in Antarctica has risen 1.5 degrees Celsius – “A warming rate that’s about double the global average.” 
Although the king crabs are not there yet, researchers claim they will be as the temperature continues to rise. Within the next five years, the crabs are expected to move to the shallower region where the invertebrates are located. Aronson states the soft-bodied organisms, “haven’t experienced this kind of predation in tens of millions of years.”  The impact of the king crab could be devastating to the Antarctic marine life.
 Harvey, Chelsea. Next up from climate change: Shell-crushing crabs invading Antarctica. The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/09/28/next-up-from-climate-change-shell-crushing-crabs-invading-antarctica/