Crabs

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Crabs live in the water, which includes the oceans, rivers, lakes and ponds; most crab species are fond of freshwater. Crabs come in different sizes, ranging from a few millimeters to up to 12 feet. Even though they live in water, crabs sometimes venture to land, and certain species, such as the robber crabs, can even climb trees.

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  • What is a baby crab called?

    Q: What is a baby crab called?

    A: A baby crab is called a zoea. Female crabs lay bunches of eggs in the water. Once developed within the egg, the larvae-like zoea hatches. Zoea are microscopic and must go through several stages before reaching adulthood.
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  • What do ocean crabs eat?

    Q: What do ocean crabs eat?

    A: Most ocean crabs are considered carnivores and eat just about any meat they can find. There are a few species that are omnivores, however, and eat plants as well as meat.
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  • How is a crab adapted to life on the seashore?

    Q: How is a crab adapted to life on the seashore?

    A: 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.
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  • Where do crabs live?

    Q: Where do crabs live?

    A: Crabs live in the water, which includes the oceans, rivers, lakes and ponds; most crab species are fond of freshwater. Crabs come in different sizes, ranging from a few millimeters to up to 12 feet. Even though they live in water, crabs sometimes venture to land, and certain species, such as the robber crabs, can even climb trees.
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  • How do crabs breathe?

    Q: How do crabs breathe?

    A: The vast majority of crabs have gills, much like fish, which extract oxygen dissolved in water. Even when they are on land, the gills can still absorb oxygen as long as they are kept moist. There is also a small selection of land crabs that have dual-circulatory systems, meaning they have lungs as well as gills.
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  • What is the largest type of crab in the world?

    Q: What is the largest type of crab in the world?

    A: The largest type of crab in the world is the Japanese spider crab. The males are larger than the females and can grow to be 12 feet across. Their bodies alone can reach 15 inches in width, and they can weigh up to 44 pounds.
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  • What animals eat blue crabs?

    Q: What animals eat blue crabs?

    A: At each stage of life, blue crabs are susceptible to a different class of predator, though their most consistent predator is the human being. During the larval stage, blue crabs' most common predators include small species of fish and jellyfish. In their adult, developed stage, larger fish, birds and even many species of mammals will prey on blue crabs.
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  • How long do hermit crabs live?

    Q: How long do hermit crabs live?

    A: Hermit crabs kept as pets can easily live for over 10 years if cared for properly. One crab owner, Carol Ormes of Ft. Myers, Florida, kept a pair of crabs that lived to be over 30 years old.
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  • What do sea crabs eat?

    Q: What do sea crabs eat?

    A: Depending on the species, sea crabs eat plankton, worms, fish, shrimp and other crabs. Crabs that live in the deep sea survive on foodfalls, which are scraps of meat that fall to the ocean floor after being killed by another sea animal.
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  • Are sand crabs edible?

    Q: Are sand crabs edible?

    A: Sand crabs, like all species of crabs, can be eaten. Sand crabs are also called mole crabs, and while they are often considered ugly in appearance, they are crunchy and flavorful.
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  • What do hermit crabs eat?

    Q: What do hermit crabs eat?

    A: In their natural environment, hermit crabs eat decaying wood, grasses, plants, fallen fruit and things washed up on shore from the tide. Land hermit crabs are omnivores, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter.
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  • How long do crabs live?

    Q: How long do crabs live?

    A: The lifespan of a crab varies according to species. A blue crab lives one to eight years, while a hermit crab lives 30 to 70 years. The Dungeness crab lives up to 10 years, and the horseshoe crab lives up to 20 years or more.
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  • Do crabs have brains?

    Q: Do crabs have brains?

    A: Crabs have a split nervous system that consists of a dorsal ganglion, which is the crab's brain, and a ventral ganglion. A circumesophageal ganglion connects the two parts. The crab's brain is situated between its eyes, while the ventral ganglion is underneath its organs and between its legs.
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  • Do crabs lay eggs?

    Q: Do crabs lay eggs?

    A: Yes, crabs lay eggs. There are many types of crab, but their reproductive activities are similar. Female horseshoe crabs lay between 60,000 and 120,000 eggs.
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  • How do crabs mate?

    Q: How do crabs mate?

    A: Crabs mate in the early summer and in the fall. It is important for crabs to mate when the female crab has recently molted and her outer shell is soft. If the female's shell is no longer soft, the crabs are unable to mate successfully. Before the female molts, she releases chemicals that attract male crabs to come and mate with her while there is still enough time.
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  • How do crabs protect themselves?

    Q: How do crabs protect themselves?

    A: Each crab species has its own features, but primary defense mechanisms for most include their hard shells and pincers. Their shells protect them against predators and rough elements. Crabs have tight grips with their pincers, which allows them to grab hold of predators and fend them off.
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  • Q: What are some facts about hermit crabs?

    A: Hermit crabs are marine or terrestrial invertebrates called decapods that mostly live underwater, with a few tropical species living on the land. They are named for their habit of living in scavenged shells, which they must replace regularly to accommodate their growing bodies. Hermit crabs are scavengers that subsist on a variety of organic material.
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  • Q: What is the life span of the ghost crab?

    A: The average life span of a ghost crab is three years. Ghost crabs hatch from eggs and go through six distinctive stages before reaching full maturity. The adult ghost crab is straw colored or grayish white, and it has large club-shaped eyestalks and long walking legs.
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  • How many legs does a crab have?

    Q: How many legs does a crab have?

    A: All true crabs have 10 legs that are arranged in pairs. The front-most pair is modified into a pair of claws or pincers, and the other four pairs are used for locomotion. For some swimming crabs, the hindmost pair of legs is flattened to form paddles.
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  • Q: What are crab niches?

    A: Niches refer to the various adaptations that allow crabs to survive in their environments, and they are used to describe the specific habitats that crabs inhabit, such as below rocks and along shorelines. Niches that help crabs survive include physical adaptations such as large claws.
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  • Q: How do Japanese spider crabs reproduce?

    A: Japanese spider crabs, also known by their scientific name Macrocheira kaempferi, reproduce by internal fertilization. Once a year, during the mating season between January and March, male crabs insert sperm into abdomens of female crabs with the foremost pair of their chelipeds.
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