How Many Legs Does a Crab Have?


All crabs have 10 legs, regardless of type. In fact, crabs are members of the order Decapoda, which translates to “decapod,” meaning 10 legs. From here, different types of crabs are divided into different infraorders, but they all share the same characteristic of being a decapod.

What Are the Different Types of Crabs?

All crabs of the CDecapoda order have 10 legs, divided into five pairs. This includes the infraorder Brachyura, which contains true crabs, as well as the infraorder Anomura, which includes king crabs, hermit crabs and squat lobsters. However, it’s important to note that horseshoe crabs are not actually crabs and are more related to spiders. They have 12 legs and are part of the order Xiphosura. They are not crustaceans, like crabs. 

What Are Variations on Crab Legs?r

Different types of crabs have legs that have evolved for different purposes. King crabs actually fold their legs under them while they are walking and use their legs to transfer sperm. Fiddler crabs have two differently sized claws at the end of their legs, and they use one to gather food and the other to court or to fight. The crab with the longest legs is the Japanese spider crab. It’s not related to spiders, despite its name. When extended, its legs can be as long as 12 feet. 

Do Crabs Live on Land or Sea?

Some crab species, such as the Japanese spider crab, are aquatic and live in water. However, many species of crab are terrestrial, which means they live on land. Whether crabs live on land or sea, all are found in coastal regions and don’t live inland.

What Is a Crab’s Body Made Of?

Crabs are crustaceans and don’t have a true skeleton. Instead, they have what is called an exoskeleton. It’s softer than a true skeleton and is made of chitin. Its main purpose is to protect the soft tissue found on the underbelly of the crab. Crabs also have an abdomen that is fused together with their thorax. This is called a cephalothorax.

How Can You Distinguish Male and Female Crabs?

To determine a male from a female crab, you must look at their abdomen. A male crab has a very thin and narrow abdomen, while a female crab has a wide abdomen. Both males and females have flaps on their bellies, and the flap of the female crab is dome-shaped. Males and females may live together with other crabs in a cast (which is the name for a group of crabs), or they may be solitary. It depends on the species type. 

What Do Crabs Eat?

Crabs are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and meat. Common meals for all species of crab include bacteria, fungi, worms, mollusks, other crustaceans and algae. Crabs also have a lifespan of about three to four years.