Crabs are usually covered with a thick exoskeleton, made primarily of highly mineralized chitin. They have a single pair of claws. Crabs are found in all of the world’s oceans, they also live in freshwater and on land, more so in tropical regions. Most crabs walk sideways but there are crabs that can walk forwards and backward. For example, the spanner crab does not walk sideways. There are several different types of crabs and over 4000 species of crab around the world.
Crabs are one of the most commonly eaten types of seafood. There are edible crabs where you can eat everything including the shell (soft shell crab). Other species, like the King Crab, only the legs are eaten. In some cultures, it is also common to eat the eggs of the female crab. The meat is called Crab meat or crabmeat. It soft, fragile and has a sweet taste. Crabs are cooked live just like lobsters. However, recent research concluded that these types of animals feel no pain. There are two types of crab meat:
White Crab Meat
White crab meat comes from the claws and legs of the crab and while predominantly white in color it does have a naturally occurring red/brown tinge throughout. White crab is low in fat and high in protein.
Brown Crab Meat
Brown meat is from the body of the crab. It has a higher natural fat content but is also very high in Omega-3. Crabmeat is generally considered to be sweet in taste.
There are some crabs that are kept as pets. However, the most popular pet crab, the hermit crab, is not a “true crab“. Other popular kinds of pet crab are the vampire crab, rainbow craw, and Halloween crab (see below for more information on the different types of pet crabs).