How Is a Crab Adapted to Life on the Seashore?

Bob Stefko/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Crabs have several adaptations that help them survive life on the seashore, including antennae, funnel canals, claws and legs. These assist with eating, defense and hunting.

Antennae help shore crabs detect potential sources of food. The funnel canals, which are located on the tips of the legs, respond whenever a shore crab comes into contact with food. This prompts the crab to pounce on its prey.

Crabs typically eat mollusks, which are covered by shells. A shore crab’s claws make it easier to open the shells and eat the soft parts inside the mollusk. Legs help crabs capture their prey and burrow into the sand.

A process called autotomy makes it possible for a shore crab to cast off its appendages. This is helpful if the crab is trapped by a predator or caught between rocks on the shore.