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King Crab

Spiny King CrabA spiny king crab (Paralithodes californiensis) Paralithodes californiensis (king crab) at the Birch Aquarium in San DiegoPhoto of Paralithodes californiensis (king crab) at the Birch Aquarium in San Diego
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King Crab Facts

Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
Scientific Name:
The name of the animal in science
Lopholithodes Mandtii
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
0.6-1.8m (1.9-5.9ft)
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)
How long the animal lives for
15-30 years
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
Conservation Status:
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
Blue, Red, Orange
Skin Type:
The protective layer of the animal
Favourite Food:
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
Cold coastal waters and continental shelves
Average Litter Size:
The average number of babies born at once
Main Prey:
The food that the animal gains energy from
Molluscs, Fish, Sea Urchin
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
Human, Larger Fish, Octopus
Special Features:
Characteristics unique to this animal
Large body and legs with thick, armoured shell

King Crab Location

Map of King Crab Locations

King Crab

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 a 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.

View all 11 animals that start with K.

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First Published: 10th November 2008, Last Updated: 7th November 2019

1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 10 Nov 2008]