Crabs are, without a doubt, one of the most easily recognizable creatures on the planet. Their unique shape and appearance make them a popular species in the ocean. Aside from being distinguishable marine creatures, they are a popular delicacy in various parts of the world.
However, there is still a lot that we don’t know about these crustaceans crawling on the earth’s ocean floor. That’s why in this blog, we will give you an interesting treat! If you are fond of crabs and want to know more about them, here are some cool, fun facts about crabs that you never knew existed.
What Are Crabs?
Before we start learning some interesting facts about crabs, you first need to know some important information about them. Crabs belong to the crustaceans family that does not have a backbone and are mainly protected with hard shells. Their pincers are primarily used to catch their prey and protect them from would-be predators.
There are around 4500 known species of crabs, and they greatly vary from species to species. Sea crabs are scattered around coastal water and freshwater regions worldwide and can often be found crawling through the beaches or coastal roads.
Their uncanny resemblance to spiders makes them associated with each other. However, crabs have more legs than spiders do.
In general, all crabs are covered with exoskeletons composed of hard shells. These hard shells are composed of a hard compound called chitin. Crabs have been around in this world for hundreds of millions of years now and have appeared during the years where dinosaurs ruled the world.
Although there are 4,500 species of crabs scattered around the world, some species are already endangered due to overfishing and habitat loss. Some species of crabs mainly thrive on the ocean floor. However – certain species of crabs are terrestrial or semi-terrestrial in which they thrive on land.
Fun Facts About Crabs
Crabs are one of the fascinating creatures on the planet. Here are some cool and fun facts about them.
All species of crabs vary in size. The smallest crab species is called the pea crab that reaches around 0.25 to o.47 inches in length, whereas the world’s biggest species of crabs, the Japanese spider crab, reaches 12 feet if you measure it from claw to claw.
The average lifespan of a crab, depending on its kind, can go for about 3 to 4 years and their pregnancy usually lasts around one to two weeks. After that, they can deposit 1000 to 2000 eggs in a single sitting.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, crabs have what you call an exoskeleton or an external skeleton that protects their inner tissues. This exoskeleton is often referred to as its shell or carapace.
One of the fun facts about crabs is that crabs are also called decapods, in which they have five pairs of legs, and one pair will eventually be modified into claws that are called chelae.
These are what you call pincers, which help them grab their food or protect them from predators.
Crabs are exhibit sexual dimorphism. Males often have larger claws compared to female crabs. Another is their abdomen, wherein male crabs have a triangular-shaped narrow abdomen, whereas females have a rounded and broader abdomen.
This adaptation is because female crabs carry their eggs in their pleopods or swimming legs.
Crabs are what you call omnivores, in which they eat both plants and meat. They have a very diverse set of diets consisting of algae, bacteria, fungi, worms, mollusks, and small crustaceans.
Just like with fishes, crabs have gills that help them breathe. However, they need to stay close to the water even if they are found mainly on land. That’s why you can see crabs from coastal areas or rocky shore regions.
Some species of crabs are solitary in which they tend to live on their own until their dying days, and some species thrive in groups and are called a cast.
Crabs also belong to the family of arthropods in which they too have segmented bodies. This means that their body is divided into several body parts. Another important thing to note is that, unlike other animals in which their thorax and abdomen are separated, crabs, on the other hand, have cephalothorax in which their abdomen and thorax are fused.
Like snails, crabs also have eyes on their stalks and can distinguish colors but are not as vivid as human eyes. Despite their number of limbs, crabs can walk in all directions. However, they only do it occasionally and mostly walk and run sideways.
A soft shell crab is not a species of crab. Instead, all crabs can be soft-shelled. Soft-shelled crabs are crabs that have recently molted. There is a group called “false crabs,” which belong to the family of anomaran. They are the sister groups of the grabs and include species such as squat lobsters, porcelain crabs, hermit crabs, king crabs, and horseshoe crabs.
Crabs are one of the most diverse creatures on the planet, and they live in more different places than any other creature on earth. They are usually found in almost every setting, from volcanic sites, ocean floors, Icelandic regions, and even live on trees!
Some species of crabs, such as the spider crab, rely on camouflage to not get preyed upon. That’s the reason why some crabs rely on creatures such as anemones latching onto them to help avoid predators; it also helps them catch their prey without them knowing.
Wrapping Things Up
Crabs have been around for about hundreds of millions of years now. They are easily one of the most distinguishable marine creatures on the planet and are also a popular delicacy across the world.
Despite their population, some species of crabs are vulnerable, and some are endangered due to various man made activities such as overfishing, bait, and biomedical testing. Hopefully, these fun facts about crabs have helped you understand more about their nature and appreciate their existence in the wild.
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