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Common Crabs The sea is full of many different species of crabs Ill be covering three species of crabs The species Ill be covering are blue crabs hermit crabs and fiddler crabs The topics of growth reproduction and characteristics will also be covered Brandi Adair Mr Wolfe April 27 1998 Period 3 Common Crabs Blue crabs come from the family Portunidae a group of animals having jointed legs segmented body and a hard outer shell Capossela 1990 It is a crustacean as are lobsters and shrimps This crab stays in water although it could survive shortly out of it The growth of blue crabs is slowed in areas of high salinity In the waters of average salinity male crabs may grow to seven-nine inches Females seldom make it past six They can live an average of 2-2 12 years although some make it to four years of age The crab has to shed his hard shell in order to grow It sometimes has to do this 25-30 times in his life for about two days each At this time the crab is called a softshell Capossela 1990 Small crabs shed every 3-5 days The blue crab occurs along the Atlantic Coast from Cape Cod south to Florida and around the Golf of Mexico to the Mississippi and next to the lobster is our most valuable food crustacean being highly valued for its edible qualities It is also known as the hard-shell or soft-shell crab suitable for the market not only when the shell is hard but also immediately after molting before the new shell has hardened Headstorm 1985 Between late spring and late summer the abdomen of a mature female crab
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