Edible Crab

Cancer pagurus
Edible Crab

Habitat: Rock pools, low shore to kelp forest and rocky reef
Depth: 1-100m
Food: Crustaceans, molluscs and dead fish
Size: Up to 25cm across
Lifespan: 25-30 years
Conservation Status: Not Evaluated (NE)

The edible crab has a robust outer shell, or exoskeleton, and very strong pincers. All crabs must moult the outer shell as they grow and a soft new shell develops underneath. Breeding occurs when the female has just moulted. She then carries the eggs under her tummy, then releases them as they hatch to start life in the plankton. Edible crabs are an important commercial species.

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