Skip to main content

Alaskan King Crab

There are three species of King Crab fished commercially in Alaska, the Red King Crab, the Blue King Crab, and the Golden King Crab. A fourth species, the Scarlet King Crab, is also found in Alaskan waters, but is rare and does not support a commercial fishing industry. All four species belong to the overall super-family, Lithodoidea, which houses 113 living species overall.

Golden King from
King crabs have five pairs of legs. The back pair are much smaller then the rest, and are usually hidden in the crab's carapace (body). They serve an important function during the mating season however, as females use them to tend to the embryos that she keeps under her tail, and they males use them in the fertilization process. The middle three sets of legs are used for walking, and the final set, that which is closest to the front of the body, sports pincers. In most crabs, the right claw is substantially larger than the left.

Like most animals, the King Crab grows larger as it ages. However, its carapace does not grow with it. As they age, the crabs must molt and grow new shells (which are made primarily of calcium). This molting process happens much more often when they are juveniles, and less when they are adults and have more or less plateau'd in size. King Crabs can live 25-30 years, and crabs that make it to those ages can be as many as five feet in leg span. King Crabs feed on all sorts of small marine life, including each other. They are preyed upon by fish, octopuses, and otters.

Red King from Alaska Fisheries Science Center
The Red King Crab is the most harvested of the Alaskan King Crabs. Crab fishing is also one of the most dangerous of all professions, with fatalities over 20 times greater than the average U.S. rate. The amount of danger involved in the Alaskan King Crab Industry has led to the creation of the Discovery Channel series, Deadliest Catch.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a

10 Years?!

My goodness! It's been 6 years since I went on hiatus, and now more than 10 years since AaD was born, and what a world we've moved in to! Animal a Day is coming back- but in the meantime, check us out on Facebook, for your daily dose of #BIRDNEWS


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!