1. The mechanism used by the mole crab Emerita for burial in sand has been studied by the analysis of cine film and electronic recordings.
2. Digging is initiated by tactile stimulation of the base of the telson and is carried out by the fourth thoracic legs and uropods continuously excavating a cavity in the substrate.
3. The crab moves into this in a series of steps by the action of the first three pairs of legs. These limbs function in the manner of oars, being feathered during the recovery stroke.
4. The efficiency of locomotion and the power required for burial are determined.