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Dungeness crab - Facts, Diet, Habitat, Life Cycle & Info

Dungeness crab facts and knowledge. Know Dungeness crab weight loss program, habitat, behaviour taxonomy, and so forth See attention-grabbing facts of Dungeness crab in our animal facts archive.

The Dungeness crab, Metacarcinus magister, is a species of crab that inhabits eel grass beds and water bottoms on the west coast of North America. It usually grows to 20 cm (7.9 in) across the carapace and is a well-liked seafood prized for its candy and tender flesh. Its widespread identify comes from the port of Dungeness, Washington.

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What does it appears like?

The carapace widths of mature Dungeness crabs could attain 25 centimetres (9.Eight in) in some areas off the coast of Washington, however are usually underneath 20 centimetres (7.9 in). They are a preferred delicacy, and are probably the most commercially necessary crab within the Pacific Northwest, in addition to the western states usually. The annual Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival is held in Port Angeles every October. Dungeness crabs have a large, lengthy, onerous shell, which they need to periodically moult to develop; this course of is known as ecdysis. They have 5 pairs of legs, that are equally armoured, the foremost pair of which ends in claws the crab makes use of each as protection and to tear aside massive food objects. The crab makes use of its smaller appendages to move the food particles into its mouth. Once contained in the crab's abdomen, food is additional digested by the "gastric mill ", a set of tooth-like constructions. M. magister prefers to eat clams, different crustaceans and small fish, however can also be an efficient scavenger. Dungeness crabs can bury themselves utterly within the sand if threatened.

Life cycle and ecology

Mature feminine crabs usually molt between May and August, and mating happens instantly after the feminine has molted and earlier than the brand new exoskeleton hardens. Males are attracted to potential mates by pheromones current within the urine of females. Upon finding an accessible feminine, the male initiates a protecting premating embrace that lasts for a number of days. In this embrace, the feminine is tucked beneath the male, oriented such that their abdomens contact and their heads face one another. Mating happens solely after the feminine has molted, and the feminine alerts her readiness to molt by urinating on or close to the antennae of the male. The feminine extrudes the eggs from her physique a number of months later; nonetheless, they continue to be connected underneath her stomach for 3 to 5 months till they hatch. Young crabs are free-swimming after hatching, and undergo 5 larval levels earlier than reaching maturity after about 10 molts or two years. Juvenile crabs develop in eelgrass beds and estuaries the place salinity ranges have a tendency to be low. The hyposaline circumstances of the estuaries are deadly to among the crab's parasites, corresponding to Carcinonemertes errans which consumes a brooding feminine's stay eggs. Dungeness crabs surveyed in Coos Bay had been much less doubtless to be contaminated by C. errans and have fewer parasites current on their carapace when inhabiting much less saline waters farther inland.

Distribution

The Dungeness crab is known as after Dungeness, Washington, which is placed roughly 5 miles 5 miles (8.zero km) north of Sequim and 15 miles (24 km) east of Port Angeles. Its typical vary extends from Alaska's Aleutian Islands to Point Conception, close to Santa Barbara, California,whereas it's often discovered as far south as Magdalena Bay, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Dungeness crabs have not too long ago been discovered within the Atlantic Ocean, removed from their identified vary, elevating concern about their doable results on the native wildlife. Some Dungeness crab will be discovered as far east as Florida, North and South Carolina, and Alabama.

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