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10 Things We Bet You Didn't Know About Crabs

Eva Niessner

10 Things We Bet You Didn't Know About Crabs

You might think you know everything you need to know about the crab. It's Maryland's favorite crustacean, it tastes delicious, and you can pick one apart faster than a lawyer picks apart a poor defense. That's it, right? Wrong! Here are more fun facts you might not have known before today.

Photo via Wikipedia.

1. A group of crabs is called a cast. Who came up with that one, anyway? If it were up to us, we'd call a group of crabs a bushel, since they're just going to end up on our newspaper-covered picnic tables anyway. But apparently, when they're still alive and congregating, they're a cast. 

2. Crabs are decapods, which mean they have ten legs. The claws are used to wave to one another and hold their food tight. No word on whether they use them to dab.


3. Female blue crabs, the kind we eat here in Maryland, only mate once in their life. Hey, ladies, no shame in holding out for the right guy!


4. The Latin name of the blue crab, Callinectes Sapid, translates to "beautiful, savory swimmer". Could any name be more perfect for our delicious little friend? Maybe "Yummyus PassTheOldBayus". 


5. Marylanders learn this one from babyhood, but if you've forgotten: you can check the gender of a blue crab by looking at its belly. Females have a marking that resembles the Capital Building; males have a marking that looks like the Washington Monument. 


6. Why are blue crabs not blue when you cook them? A pigment in their shells that makes them blue breaks down in hot water, leaving only a red color. 


7. We're not the only creatures that think blue crabs are tasty. Their predators include stingrays, eels, bass and trout. 


8. Of course, blue crabs are just one kind of crab, and there are thousands--about 5,000, actually. But 500 or so of those aren't 'real' crab, they're other critters like horseshoe crabs (which is basically a fossil!) 


9. Crabs make up one-fifth of all seafood consumed worldwide. How much of that was in Maryland? We bet it's a lot. Maybe most of it. (Well, maybe not.)


10. Crabs are one of the most stylish creatures you can wear--that's a science fact! You can check out lots of crab-themed apparel in our shop.

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