Common Name: Blue Crab

Scientific Name: Callinectes sapidus

 

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Crustacea

Order: Decapoda

Family: Portunidae

Genus: Callinectes

Species: C. sapidus

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Adult blue crabs grow to about six inches across their bodies. They can also grow larger. Blue crabs look like most other crabs but they have a blue color on their claws. They have ten legs and a hard shell. Crabs have some interesting adaptations. One example is that they have gills like fill so that they can get oxygen from water for breathing, but they also can survive for long periods of time out of the water as long as they keep their gills moist. They are able to keep their gills moist by hiding in cool dark places. Male blue crabs have more blue on their claws than the females. The female blue crab also has blue on its claws, but they have red on the tips of their claws.

 

 Blue crabs live in the Atlantic Ocean all along the western edge. Blue crabs also live in the Baltic Sea, North Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea. Blue crabs like to live in estuaries and bays. They do well in those places because that is where they can find what they like to eat. Blue crabs like to eat clams, fish, and plants.

 

 They are omnivores. The Blue crab population is shrinking. This is because of overfishing, and also because their habitat is getting messed up by humans. The Blue crab is in the middle of the food web. They compete with other crabs, fish, and many other creatures in the ocean for their food. They are preyed upon by eels, trout, some sharks, sting rays and people. An interesting fact about Blue crabs is that they are very aggressive. They got their name from the Greek word Callinectes which means beautiful swimmer and the Latin word sapidus which means savory. They are one of the most popular types of crab to eat.

 

Author: CJ A

Published: 03/2008

 

Sources: Batten, Thomas. "Blue Crab." Delaware Sea Grant. University of Delaware. 13 Mar. 2008 . "Blue Crabs." Sea Science. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. 13 Mar. 2008 . "Blue Crab." Wikipedia. 13 Mar. 2008 . "The Blue Crab Archives." Bluecrab.Info. 13 Mar. 2008 .