How Do Crayfish Protect Themselves?

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Crayfish, which are freshwater crustaceans closely related to lobsters, have large claws with which they threaten predators and protect themselves. In addition, when crayfish are frightened, they make menacing gestures with their claws, propel themselves backwards and use their tails to throw mud at their enemies.

Unlike lobsters, which live in saltwater seas and oceans, crayfish inhabit lakes, rivers and streams. They are also smaller than lobsters, usually only about 2 to 6 inches in length. They use the rocks, logs or muddy bottoms of their freshwater habitats to hide themselves from potential predators. When water levels are low, crayfish burrow into the mud. At night, they come out to feed on mollusks, insects, worms, snails, tadpoles and aquatic vegetation.

Crayfish are hunted by numerous predators in the wild, including raccoons, foxes, snakes, turtles and birds. Humans hunt crayfish for food, bait for fishing and to display as pets in aquariums. Crayfish are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, but normally, only the tails are eaten. Fishermen use crayfish to catch such species of fish as bass, pike and catfish. Crayfish thrive in freshwater aquariums, and if they are fed properly, they are non-aggressive and can co-exist with various species of fish.