Now THAT’s a crab! But we learned something new this week as we were wandering the barrier island beaches. I guess I had forgotten that a horseshoe crab is not really a crab. There sure are a lot of horseshoe crab shells washing up on the gulf coast beaches, at least in Southwest Florida. Last winter we found a bunch of shells in the 10,000 Islands.
According to Animal Planet:
“Several differences separate the horseshoe crab from true crabs. True crabs have antennae, but horseshoe crabs do not. True crabs have 8 walking legs, plus 2 claws, whereas, horseshoe crabs have 10 walking legs.
Horseshoe crabs are not, however, totally unrelated to crabs. Scientists classify such crustaceans as true crabs, as well as horseshoe crabs, into a larger group of animals known as Arthropoda. Arthropods are animals with jointed legs, an exoskeleton made of chitin, and bodies that are divided into sections. Insects, crustaceans, spiders, and horseshoe crabs are all arthropods. In fact, about two-thirds of all the species of animals on the planet are arthropods.”
So now we know, horseshoe crabs are related to spiders, scorpions and 2/3 of other species – anything with jointed legs and bodies divided into sections.
But without a doubt, the very very very best crabs are Florida STONE CRAB CLAWS!!!! Yum yum yum! And it’s stone crab season, can’t wait enjoy some ourselves – hopefully in Marathon.