Crabs (Callinectes sapidus) are crustaceans and related to lobsters and shrimps; however, they’ve evolved so that they can run, move sideways and also swim. A crab’s body is covered by a chitinous shell, known as a carapace, and they have a single pair of chelae (claws). True crabs have a tucked in abdomen, which is completely hidden under the thorax.
There are approximately 6,793 crab species, and they can be found in all of the world’s oceans, as well as in freshwater and on land. Crabs have complex behavior patterns and can communicate by drumming and waving their pinchers. They tend to be aggressive towards each other, and males even fight to mate with females. They are omnivores that mainly eat algae; however, they also feed on mollusks, worms and other crustaceans. The earliest crab fossils date back to the Jurassic period, although other crab-like carapace’s have been found from even earlier times.
Fun Crab Facts
- A crab’s teeth are found in its stomach.
- The biggest crab thus far was found in Maryland, measuring 9 inches wide.
- Female blue crabs mate just once in their life.
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