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King Crab


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A spiny king crab (Paralithodes californiensis)
Photo of Paralithodes californiensis (king crab) at the Birch Aquarium in San Diego
Spiny King Crab
Paralithodes californiensis (king crab) at the Birch Aquarium in San Diego
King Crabs are known for their sheer size but only a couple of species get really big. King crabs are mainly found in the Southern Hemisphere where the waters are warmer but the Alaskan king crab is the obvious exception to this as the waters there are near freezing.

Red king crabs can have a leg span of up to 1.8m, blue king crabs often weigh over 8kg! King crabs hunt small fish and plankton in the oceans and are often found close to coral reefs or rocky areas where there are plenty of places for the king crab to hide.

The king crab is generally believed to come from the ancestors of hermit crabs, as with many species of crab today. King crabs are hunted all year round by fisherman and the king crab is seen to be delicacy in many parts of the world.

There are thought to be around 40 different species of king crab today, nearly all of which are hunted for food by humans due to their large size and the taste of their flesh. The most popular king crab for a human catch, is the red king crab as the red king crab is one of the largest species and one of the most readily available species of king crab in the ocean.


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King Crab Facts

Kingdom:
Five groups that classify all living things...
Animalia
Phylum:
A group of animals within the animal kingdom...
Arthropoda
Class:
A group of animals within a pylum...
Crustacea
Order:
A group of animals within a class...
Decapoda
Family:
A group of animals within an order...
Lithodidae
Genus:
A group of animals within a family...
Lopholithodes
Scientific Name:
Comprised of the genus followed by the species...
Lopholithodes Mandtii
Type:
The animal group that the species belongs to...
Crustacean
Diet:
What kind of foods the animal eats...
Carnivore
Size:
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is...
0.6-1.8m (1.9-5.9ft)
Weight:
The measurement of how heavy the animal is...
2-8kg (4.4-18lbs)
Top Speed:
The fastest recorded speed of the animal...
11km/h (7mph)
Life Span:
How long the animal lives for...
15-30 years
Lifestyle:
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable...
Solitary
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct...
Threatened
Colour:
The colour of the animal's coat or markings...
Blue, Red, Orange
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal...
Shell
Favourite Food:Molluscs
Habitat:
The specific area where the animal lives...
Cold coastal waters and continental shelves
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once...
7
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from...
Molluscs, Fish, Sea Urchin
Predators:
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal...
Human, Larger Fish, Octopus
Special Features:Large body and legs with thick, armoured shell

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