10 Different Types Of Crabs In The World

Hermit Crabs
Hermit Crabs

Crabs are perhaps the most exciting sea creatures crustaceans. They live underwater and on land too. They are decapods meaning they have ten legs, two of them are modified as pincers used for finding and eating food and cracking shells of prey. Crabs are eaten as a seafood delicacy in many countries around the world. They have a thick exoskeleton that protects them from external attacks. One peculiar trait is the motion of crabs, they move sideways only. This is because forward or backward movement, although possible, is less efficient for the crab. This animal is spread in all of the oceans and beaches of the world and shows huge diversity too. Let’s look at 10 amazing types of crabs.

Different Types Of Crabs

1. The King Crab

It is a big crab that has an exoskeleton covered in thorn-like outgrowths. Sufficient to make any going near them nervous. They are mainly found in the world’s cold oceans, along with the North Pole. They are not a very attractive choice for aquariums and their size ensures that only big aquariums are capable of petting them. It is one of the different animals that start with k.

They are known to undergo molting around 20 times in their lives because the exoskeleton becomes too small to hold the growing body of the crab. Recently, this crab species has been invading the fjords of Norway. The floor of these water bodies is now crawling with big king crabs and nothing else survives. This process has hurt the ecosystem of these water bodies.

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The King Crab
The King Crab

Image Source: Wikimedia

2. The Blue Crab

Also known as Chesapeake blue crab or Atlantic blue crab, a name that accurately describes its appearance. Their exoskeleton is mostly a dark hue of blue except near leg joints where it is bright blue in color. They prefer to live in relatively shallow water bodies like lagoons and estuaries and generally avoid deep oceans.

These crabs scavenge mostly but also sometimes eat plants and smaller creatures too. Their normal lifecycle lasts for around 3.5 years. Their rear legs are somewhat shaped like paddles which makes them good swimmers.

Also Read: Top 10 Different Types of Snails In The World

The Blue Crab
The Blue Crab

Image Source: Wikimedia

3. Coconut Crabs

They are also called robber crab or palm thieves because they coconuts from beaches. This crab is big for a land crab, the largest in fact among those that live on land. They climb palm trees with their long legs to reach coconuts which they open and eat with their strong claws. The sight of this crab around you is sure to send a chill down your spine. As if their exoskeleton wasn’t strong and their bodies were not large enough to scare humans, the tales about these animals say that their pinch will hurt more than a lion’s bite.

Fortunately, for us, they don’t use this painful weapon on humans generally as mostly feed on fruits and seeds and nuts which are not scarce on the beaches where they live. Although they still sometimes hunt and kill birds and even kittens and other coconut crabs. A coconut crab hunting and tearing the prey apart with its strong pincers is painful even to witness.

Also Read: Top 10 Animals That Are Camouflaged

Coconut Crabs
Coconut Crabs

Image Source: Wikimedia

4. Horseshoe Crabs

No these are not actual crabs but rather they belong to the chelicerates group which is related to the arachnid family. As if crabs weren’t scary enough this one is a combo of both spider and crab features. They live on coasts and shallow waters. Their body has a long fin on the head and the head section is in the shape of a horseshoe, hence its name.

It hides all its legs under the skeleton and sits on the sand like a stone to protect itself, like a medieval armored vehicle. Their blood is blue in color and has medical applications. They are harvested for this reason commercially although most of them continue to live because only some part of the blood is taken.

Also Read: 10 Different Animals That With The Letter C

Horseshoe Crabs
Horseshoe Crabs

Image Source: Wikimedia

5. Hermit Crabs

Unlike many other crustaceans, their exoskeleton is hard but not so hard that it’s sufficient to protect them. But this innovative crab finds a way to not let its insecurities weigh it down. The hermit crab occupies mollusk shells like snail shells to protect itself. Due to this reason the abdomen has also evolved to become curved, fit for shells similar to snails. Hermit crabs are found both underwater and on land.

Hermit Crabs
Hermit Crabs

Image Source: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

6. Southern European Crabs

These are your regular beach crabs. Too regular, in fact. In recent times they have been described as one of the worst invasive species and they have now colonized many regions spread all across the globe with the same climate as their native region. They were originally found in the Atlantic waters from southern Europe till Scandinavia but now are also found along the western coast of the Americas, Southern Australian, and African coasts.

Southern European Crabs
Southern European Crabs

Image Source: Wikimedia

7. The Horsehair Crabs

Found in their native habitat in the northwest Pacific Ocean near Japan. No wonder it’s a popular part of seafood cuisine there. Its shell is hard and has short spines all over. Due to its popularity in Japanese seafood, its population declined rapidly in the latter half of the twentieth century but thanks to many rejuvenating programs the population has reached healthy numbers again.

The Horsehair Crabs
The Horsehair Crabs

Image Source: Wikimedia

8. The Japanese Spider Crabs

These are the largest crabs by size. They are eerily similar to spiders and hence the name. Their legs are much longer as compared to any other crabs. It is also considered by many to be immortal, in the sense that it can lose limbs to predators and regenerate them throughout its unusually long life of 100 years. Imagine going under the ocean surface and instead of colorful coral, grass and fish, you find the ocean floor crawling with big ocean spiders instead.

They weigh around 20 kilograms and are big enough to pose threat to humans. In case that’s not scary enough, they also have camouflage abilities to blend in with the ocean floor and sneak on the prey until it’s too late for them to get away. They act like ocean floor cleaners by feeding on dead organic material thus maintaining the balance of the biome.

The Japanese Spider Crabs
The Japanese Spider Crabs

Image Source: Wikimedia

9. Dungeness Crabs

One of the types of crabs found along the western coast of America this crustacean is a very important part of the seafood in America. Even before the Europeans were enchanted by this crab, the native Americans ate the crab and it was an important part of their cuisine culture because it tastes a little bit sweet. They are grown in fisheries on a large scale and for this reason, are also well studied.

Dungeness Crabs
Dungeness Crabs

Image Source: Wikimedia

10. Tasmanian giant crab

Even its scientific name, Pseudocarcinus Gigas tells how they are unusually big crabs. They are scavengers of the ocean and feed on dead and decaying animals and some smaller animals. They are commercially fished although the cuisine is a rather late human invention starting majorly only in 1992. It is one of the most amazing types of crabs in the world.

Tasmanian giant crab
Tasmanian giant crab

Image Source: Wikimedia

These are the different types of crabs in the world. Kindly share and do post your comments.

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