Wild Harris

Shore Crab

Link to Rocky Shore Animals

This is the crab most commonly found on the shore. Its a very versatile animal that can live on sand, mud or rock. Many shore crabs are green, although yellow or orange coloured specimens are not unusual. It has 8 walking legs and 2 claws which are used for defence and to tear up its food before passing the pieces to its jaws. Swimming crabs are a similar size but have flattened back legs which are used as paddles when they swim; the shore crab's back legs are pointed like the rest. Crabs are both predators and scavengers that will eat almost anything edible that they find. Crabs can walk in any direction but will run sideways if they want to move fast. Like other crustaceans crabs have an exoskeleton (outside skeleton) which restricts growth - if they want to grow bigger they have to shed their shell and grow a new one. (Link to How do Crabs Grow).

shore crab 1.jpg(Photo: Paul Tyler)

The heavily armoured green or shore crab

shore crab 2.jpg(Photo: Paul Tyler)

The pointed back legs show this is a shore crab. Velvet swimming crabs have flattened paddles instead of points.

by Paul Tyler

Link to Rocky Shore Animals