Although there are over 50 crab families and thousands of species, all crabs have basically the same body plan: four pairs of walking legs and one pair of claws (also called nippers or pincers). Their shell is actually their skeleton, called an exoskeleton, and protects their thorax, gills and the internal organs of the head. Like the octopus and sea star, if the crab loses a limb it will regenerate (grow back).
Atlantic blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) are found in the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific coast of Central America, and the western waters of the Atlantic Ocean. While ignored as a food source in Central America, Atlantic blue crabs are fished extensively along the north Atlantic states of the United States. Atlantic blue crabs are the state crustacean of Maryland. In addition to humans, Atlantic blue crabs are preyed upon by eels, sharks, trout, bass, and other fish. Atlantic blue crabs are omnivores, feeding on virtually anything smaller than themselves, including other blue crabs and carrion.
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