Tuesday, July 29, 2014

California King Crab or Spiny King Crab

California King Crab, Paralithodes californiensis, also known as the Spiny King Crab.  Normally, when we think of King Crab, we think of the Red King crab, Paralithodes camtschaticus, a.k.a., Alaskan King Crab, which has the great misfortune of gracing our dinner tables.  However, there at least 121 species across 10 genera in the family Lithodoidea, in which the King Crab belongs.  There is asymmetry in the King Crab's abdomen that leads to conjecture that the king crabs originated from hermit crab-like ancestors who had asymmetrical abdomens used to wrap themselves into seashells.  Ironic that such a huge, magnificent creature could have common origins with the considerably smaller, soft-bellied, hermit crab.

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