Crabs are amazing! Like other animals, they have complex social behaviors and unique ways of thriving in their natural environments.
Here are just a few interesting crab facts you can share with your friends and family:
- Crabs often work together to find food, avoid predators, and protect their families. Some species communicate by making sounds. For example, ghost crabs rub their legs together to create sound, while fiddler crabs snap their claws.
- Crabs have unique, complex mating rituals. Male fiddler crabs attract females by rhythmically waving their larger claws. Male crabs will also often fight with one another for the attention of female crabs.
- Many crab species “wear” objects and even other animals to camouflage themselves, protect themselves from predators, and endure weather conditions. They can wear anything from shells, rocks, and plants to smaller aquatic animals!
The Evidence for Sentience
Despite being unique and wonderful beings, crabs endure some of the most horrific abuse of any animal killed for food. Chefs commonly boil these misunderstood animals alive—a brutal practice. Crabs can writhe in agony for minutes before dying, shedding their limbs.
In 2021, the London School of Economics released a report concluding that decapods (hard-shell animals like crabs and lobsters) and cephalopods (soft-bodied marine animals like octopuses and cuttlefish) should be treated as sentient beings.
The authors looked at 300 scientific studies to come to their conclusion, measuring sentience in eight ways, including learning abilities and behavior when balancing threats and rewards.
Using these guidelines, the researchers found “very strong” evidence that octopods were sentient and “strong” evidence that crabs were. Lead author Jonathan Birch, an expert in the philosophy of biology at the London School of Economics, stated, “In all the cases, the balance of evidence seemed to tilt toward sentience.”
While crabs are truly fascinating animals, as philosopher Jeremy Bentham said, “The question is not, Can they reason?, nor Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?”
Stand up for crabs in your daily life by choosing delicious plant-based foods. Download our free How to Eat Veg guide to get started.