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red king crab
Red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus)
Image credit: Alaskan Fisheries Science Center, NOAA

A typically marine crustacean belonging to the class Malacostraca, order Decapoda (see decapod). Crabs have a front pair of legs called chelipeds used for food capture, signaling, and fighting, and four pairs of smaller legs with which the animal can move sideways or swim. Crabs have a broad, flattened body with a hard outer covering or carapace, an abdomen permanently tucked up under the body, and eyes usually movable on stalks. Some species are terrestrial and some are found in freshwater. Eggs, carried by the female, hatch into planktonic larva or zoea.

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