Shock & Claws: The World’s 7 Most Amazing Crabs

The Face Of Fear

(image via:

The Three-spotted Swimmer Crab (Portunus sanguinolentus) is native to Australian waters and in contrast to much of the Land Down Under’s wildlife is neither deadly nor poisonous – it only looks that way. We’re talking about the rather ghoulish-looking “face” displayed on the crustaceans’ shells that evokes the mask-wearing “Ghostface” character from the Scream and Scary Movie film franchises.

(images via: Queensland Museum and Thailand Beyond Solo Backpacking)

Those spots, by the way, are tinted a deep blood red – that’s where the “sanguinolentus” in its scientific name comes from. Lovely. Have any Australians thrown any Three-spotted Swimmer Crabs on their barbies and if so, do their unusual shells turn red like those of most other crabs and lobsters when cooked? As long as the eerie expression on their shells fades away, it doesn’t really matter what color they turn, amiright mate? Sorry friends, though the shells turn a pinkish pale red the three spots retain their distinctive blood-red hue. Bon appétit!

Pea Crabs In A Pod

(image via: George Paterson)

Pea Crabs (Pinnotheres pisum) are the smallest crabs; so small in fact that they’re frequent and successful parasites of clams, oysters and other bivalves. If you’re served a plate of fresh oysters and one or more Pea Crabs scuttle out when you’re shucking them, fear not and lap ’em up: they’re delicious as they’re tiny & cute! Kudos to Flickr user George Paterson for the delightfully disturbing image above.

(images via: Wikimedia/Brocken Inaglory, I Dint Know and EverGreen)

The Sea Otter above doesn’t seem to mind the Pea Crab that escaped the oyster being opened on the otter’s chest (as otters are won’t to do) but it may be a case of “out of the frying pan and into the fire”… Sea Otters will happily eat any crab within viewing range and this particular Pea Crab is resting far too close for its own comfort.