Feeling Crabby


Last week I spotted an article on the BBC News page about giant spider crabs. A massive horde of crabs have appeared in waters close to Melbourne in Australia. An aquatic scientist filmed the event and said she swam for hundreds of metres without reaching the end of the crab horde. That’s a lot of crabs!

Whilst we are not exactly sure why crabs do this, it could be because they are moulting. When their outer shell is shed ~ so that the crab can grow ~ they are particularly vulnerable to predators. If they gather together into a massive group, there is less chance of attack.

Here at Education Quizzes, we thought it would be fun to find out more about crabs in general.

  • Crabs have 10 legs. Their first pair are claws and if they lose one, another grows back
  • Their eyes are on stalks (rather like snails) and they are able to see colours
  • Not only do they walk sideways, they also swim sideways. Some crabs walk backwards
  • Their teeth are in their stomachs
  • A female crab will lay millions of eggs at one time. She carries them under her body until they hatch
  • A group of crabs is known as a cast
  • The smallest crab is the size of a pea, whilst the biggest ~ the Japanese spider crab ~ has a leg span of up to 3.8 metres (that’s 12 feet!)

The chances are you will already be familiar with crabs, having seen them at the seaside. As with any living creature, it’s best if you leave them alone and simply observe their nature. If you start touching them or trying to pick them up, you may well get a nasty nip from their claws. And really, who can blame them ~ you wouldn’t want picking up by a creature hundreds of times your size, would you?

So now you know a little bit more about crabs, but how well do you know other animals? Test yourself by playing our Nature quizzes. We have over sixty of them on subjects as varied as British birds and African mammals. If you fancy yourself as a nature lover, give them a go and see whether you can score 10 out of 10 on them all!

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