We are all familiar with the crab varieties like king crab, blue crab etc. We'll see these kinds of crabs in any of the seafood stores. But the crab species is not limited to those 4 or 5 varieties. There are more than 4000 crab species in an endless array of colours, shapes, and sizes. Crabs are undoubtedly the most enchanting macro animals. Here we'll explore some of the stunning crab species in underwater.
5 types of Crabs in This Planet
Horseshoe crabs spend most of their time dwelling in the sea. They prefer to live in the ocean bottoms on the rough sandy mud. They will only come ashore for mating. Horseshoe crabs are mostly found in the deep waters of Southeast Asia, in the Gulf of Mexico along the northwestern belt of Atlantic coast. and along the East Asian coast. The striking factor of these crabs is their large and hard shell with which they protect their body. Their belly is as small as an insect. The long rigid tail and 5 pairs of legs help the crab to flip upside down and turn. Male Horseshoe crabs are smaller than their female counterparts and they cling over their back for mating. Due to copper content in their blood, the blood is blue in colour.
The divers in the Indo-Pacific may encounter these incredible Orangutan crabs. These are usually to difficult to spot and only the experienced divers can identify them. The long legs and furry coat of thick and red hair all over their bodies distinguish them from all other crab species. They feed on the edible debris and microscopic animals. The white veined globes and coral Plerogyra sinuosa makes them look bizarre. Orangutan crabs spend most of their time hiding under the things and blends into its backdrop. It forms a thick grape size bubbles which grow in size during the daytime to enable it to absorb more light. Bubble structures shrink during the night times and the crab wanders slowly on the seafloor in search of food.
Pom-Pom crabs are an amazing crab species which associates with anemones and enter into a mutually beneficial symbiosis with them. They carry the anemone in their claws to defend itself from the predators. The stinging cells oozing from the anemones issues a safe passage on the seafloor for this crabs. Anemones get the mobility because of the crabs which helps them to expose to wider food sources. Pom-Pom crabs also feed on the food particles which are collected by the waving tentacles of anemones. In this way, Pom-Pom crabs manage to get the most out of their association with anemones. Pom-Pom crabs are called as boxer crabs by scientists and divers.
Snow crabs have got many names. They are called spider crabs, queen crabs, Chionecetes and opilio crabs. Chionecetes is the genus name for the Snow crab. You would have already seen Snow crabs in the seafood stores. Snow crab legs are sold all across the world. There are seven species of Snow crabs - triangle tanner crab, bairdi or the tanner crab, the grooved Tanner crab, opilio crab, Beni-zuwai crab, Chionoecetes Elongates and Chionoecetes Pacificus. Snow crabs are commonly found in the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean. Snow crabs are recognized all over the world because of the TV show The Deadliest Catch. The colour of Snow crab is subdued and dull. But it turns into a bright orange colour after the cooking.
The genus name for the Rock crab is Cancer irroratus. The shell of the crab looks dark and it has got an orange-red colour all over it. It is also called as the peekytoe crab and the Atlantic rock crab. It sizes up to 5 inches when it's fully grown. It is commonly found in rocky marine environments and in tide pools. The purple spots on the brown shell of Rock Crab help the divers to distinguish it from other crab species. They move slow and they feed on the other crabs, clams, worms, mussels etc.
As we mentioned earlier, there are over four thousand crab species in the underwater world. But only a few of them are popular. The differences between these species are really important for the ecosystem. The marine ecosystem is delicate and we need to take proper care to avoid all kinds of damages to protect the animals and underwater world creatures.