Top 10 Fun Facts About Crabs

Here are some fun facts about our favorite crustaceans, crabs! On a cliff note, when I was going into my research, I didn't expect to be flooded with mostly facts about crabmeat and killing crabs, but that's what I got. I don't know if that disqualifies this list for being a list of "fun facts" but we shall see, right?
The Top Ten
1 The Japanese spider crab is the largest crab species in the world

The legs of the Japanese spider crab are the longest parts of their body, and they are roughly four meters, or about thirteen feet long. As far as the body of the Japanese spider crab, the Japanese spider crab's shell, or carapace goes, they can reach a little bit more than fifteen inches or forty centimeters wide. The Japanese spider crab can also weigh up to around 41 pounds or 19 kilograms. Given how large they are, the Japanese spider crab is dangerous not just to try to hunt, but to approach altogether. But the Japanese spider crab is still considered a food for humans in the Land of the Rising Sun, despite the dangers they may be to humans.

2 You can harvest meat from a crab without killing it

How? Well, fishermen do this by ripping off one of a crab's claws. They then keep the crab inside a water tank, where the crab will grow a new claw, as their claws are regenerative. The claw that the fishermen had ripped off can have the meat from it harvested without the crab living on for one more day. It actually takes a lot of claws to make a good, sufficiently large meal out of one crab's claw, but the people who do so understand devotion to the cause, and keep doing this cycle if they are more compassionate towards the animal kingdom, and depending on perspective, this one may be a merciful fact, or a cruel one. I suppose it can be both, perhaps?

3 Crabs don't feel pain

This one is a good thing, considering how many things they can be harmed by. But how is it possible for them to feel no pain? Well, their nervous systems are not complicated enough to give them pain receptors, whereas more evolved animals, like off the top of my head, cats, have plenty of pain receptors. So, if you use crab claws for their meat, boil them, or have accidentally ran over them during their migration, you can have a somewhat clear conscience if you are all about being humane to animals. They might die, or get eaten, but they feel no pain. This probably makes people who produce crabmeat, or crabs as a whole feel better, but it's kind of like using crabs' disadvantage of the inability to feel pain to the cook's advantage. But don't think I'm like a crab's rights advocate or something. I can just see both perspectives. I have a knack for that.

4 Land crabs migrate to the water to release their larvae

These migrations are in a peculiar way, very similar to the migration of the monarch butterfly. The overall capacity of the amount of crabs in these great migrations can fet very high up there, and hundreds of crabs attempt to migrate to the beach. Once the crab releases their larvae, they go back to land in a second, or "reverse" migration. During these migrations, crabs are arguably the most vulnerable to predators, including humans. Especially humans, actually. These migrations are infamous for coastal crabs being crushed by cars driving over them. There's that risk, but big risk, big reward, I suppose. In this case, the big reward is baby crabs.

5 Crabs start growing their new shells before they molt

Before molting, when a crab leaves its shell for a new one, crabs grow a layer of soft tissue under their old shells which will eventually become the crab's new shell when the old one will come off. The crab then starts consuming lots of water to make the shell that it is growing out of more weak, so the new shell will eventually crack open the old shell from the inside to the outside. To be more specific, generally speaking, they establish a weak point which is almost the crab equivalent to an Achilles heel, if you take out the factor that an Achilles heel means death, and this spot of vulnerability is usually the back of the shell that is being molted, and the old one eventually breaks, revealing the new one.

6 Brown crabs are the most common crabs caught in Europe

The Brown crab is the dominant specimen of crabs in the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Mediterranean Sea. They live in waters that can be up to about 330 feet deep. As for their size, brown crabs can grow up to around nine inches wide and they weigh about six or seven pounds weight. Ever since the apex of the 19th century, brown crabs have been categorized as endangered considering how much fishers catch, and often kill them. There have been laws put in place to protect the brown crab
from overfishing. One such law for instance, says it is against the law to keep brown crabs with a width of a little less than three inches, as this doesn't provide much time for the crab to reproduce and whatnot, given they would probably be endangered without these regulations. And that's probably why they have those regulations to begin with.

7 The crab lifespan spectrum is vast

The lifespan of crabs is not exactly along the same lines as most species of critters, as far as consistency of various species' lifespans go. For a little bit of perspective, the giant Japanese spider crab can live as long as fifty or even one hundred years. The smaller species, like hermit crabs, for example usually live a good three or four years, and from time to time, I'm sure they exceed that by a year or two. Blue crabs can live up to about eight years or a decade. And I believe the horseshoe crab can live up to a good twenty or even twenty five years. But given the smaller ones with the lower lifespans are more common than the species that can reach past a decade, the average lifespan of a crab is dubbed as about three to five years. That's actually quite inaccurate though, given the species of crabs with more longevity, it is very possible that the average lifespan is really around five to twelve.

8 Crabs are decapods

What's a decapod? An animal with ten legs. The prefix "deca" means ten, which is why a decade is ten years. This group of creatures consists of crabs, lobsters, and shrimp, but it's not very notable given the shell, exoskeleton or both, block most of the legs, looking at them from a bird's-eye view, but the back four or so are easy to view. The exoskeleton or shell of a crab doesn't hide them, but if you turn over a crab to inspect it, or even if you just do it to be cruel, you will be able to see all the limbs that are hidden by the shell, although it is possible that they might not all be there, given what I said about them being able to regenerate limbs.

9 Crabs and lobsters are cousins
10 Crabs make good pets

Okay, hear me out: not all crabs make good pets. You don't want to have a pet Japanese spider crab, given they're huge, to the extent that they're capable of physically harming you. But the mainstream hermit crab, and their subspecies, such as fiddler crabs, vampire crabs and a few others are good pets. And quite a bit more impressive than your standard goldfish. Most crabs that are available as pets are easy to take care of, and can withstand varied temperatures and circumstances for aquariums. And depending on what you want, you can get a crab that can be your starter pet and dies off in two years, or you can have a pet crab for as long as eight years, if you want a pet with longevity but you're uncertain of whether your capable of taking care of a dog or a cat. The only downsides is that all the pet crab species are on the delicate side of things, and they can be kind of aggressive.

The Contenders
11 Crabs are omnivores

Truth be told, going into my research, despite about at least five years worth of zoological knowledge, possibly even more, I forgot what the eating habits of crabs usually is, so I kind of just assumed that crabs are herbivores. In reality, crabs are omnivores. For the most part, the diet of your typical crab is predominantly seaweed, they can also eat meat, if they must. When push comes to shove, most crabs will eat worms, mollusks, fungus or bacteria. That last one is a bit of an irony, given crab larvae count as bacteria, so it's possible for crabs to be cannibals, but unaware of it. A couple of Some crabs will even eat animal carcasses or garbage. Crabs with more variety in their diets also usually grow at a quicker pace and grow larger than crabs which stick mainly to seaweed. Feed 'em and they grow, I suppose.

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