Where in the world?
Almost all marine environments around the world.
Crabs belong to a group of animals called ‘Decapods’ – meaning ‘10 legs’. Crabs are encased in a hard, protective shell (exoskeleton) which acts like a suit of armour often with spines or teeth. They have a pair of claws which they use to catch, chop and crush prey.
The claws are also used to fight or communicate.
Crabs are scavengers, feeding on dead animals and plant matter. They will also prey on small animals when they can, using one pincer to crush and hold their prey while the other is used to tear small pieces off and move them into their mouths.
The largest crab is the Japanese Spider Crab which can grow to over 12 feet across (around the size of a small car)! The smallest crabs are pea crabs, not growing larger than a few millimetres across!
Did you know?
A group of crabs is called a ‘cast’, a crab’s blood is blue due to the copper it contains, and crabs are covered in many tiny ‘hairs’ called setae, to detect chemicals, touch and movement.