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Published byElla Mahoney
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Blue Crab Blue crabs are not only the best know crustaceans in the Chesapeake Bay, but also one of the best known animals.
Blue Crab Millions of pounds of blue crabs are harvested from the Chesapeake Bay every year.
Blue Crab Most of these crabs are caught by watermen using crab pots. Fresh dead fish are put in the pot and the crabs are trapped once they enter.
Blue Crab The blue crab is a 10-leged crustacean, related to the lobster, shrimp and crayfish.
Blue Crab Their hind legs have broad, flat like paddles at the end which makes them very good swimmers.
Blue Crab In fact, their scientific name Callinectes means beautiful swimmer in Greek.
Blue Crab Male crabs are called Jimmies. You can tell a Jimmie by the inverted T shaped apron on the underside of the crab.
Blue Crab They also have blue tips to their claws.
Blue Crab A immature female is known as a Sally. The apron is triangular.
Blue Crab A mature female is known as a Sook. The apron is broad and rounded.
Blue Crab Female blue crabs can also be identified by their red tipped claws. Females paint their nails.
Blue Crab A female blue crab can carry from 750,000 to 8 million eggs beneath her apron.
Blue Crab When eggs are visible, females are known as sponge crabs.
Blue Crab Crabs grow by sheding their hard shells. This process is called molting.
Molting or Ecdysis
Blue Crab Crabs have a very interesting lifecycle!
There are four main kinds of arthropods.
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