Crab: Is this creature a vertebrate or an invertebrate animal? 

If you want to know if the crab is a vertebrate or an invertebrate creature, we recommend you to stay with us to clarify this dilemma.

Many people can be confused when they see the articulated body of the crabs, since they have legs which they employ to walk or swim, and some of them can live both in water and on land.

Then, we still have the doubt whether the crab is a vertebrate or an invertebrate creature. We will see following some characteristics that will help us clarify this dilemma.

Characteristics of the Crab

There are more than six thousand species of crabs, of which some live in the water or go there for breeding at least once a year. Moreover, they are crustacean that belong to the order of the decapods.

Despite of their fondness for the water, they are not really skilled swimmers. So, all what they do is to walk on the bottom of the sea, which makes of them benthic creatures. Although some of them can walk out of the water, and even climb trees, as is the case of the coconut crabs.

Since crabs are decapods they possess ten legs. The first two evolved over the years to become into two strong pincers which the crabs employ to capture their prey, tear them apart, manipulate them, and eat them. Even, these pincers are useful to defend themselves against a predator, or a rival, when they are wooing their partners.

crab: coconut crab



The crabs are also arthropods, which means that they are endowed with an external skeleton (exoskeleton) and articulated appendages. The exoskeleton is partially covered by a shell composed by chitin, and it is also mineralized with calcium carbonate.

The appendage of the invertebrates animals are the equals of the limbs of invertebrates. The antennae, mandibles, maxillae, maxillipeds, gills, legs (pereipods) swimming legs (pleopods), the sexual organs (gonopods) and the tail (uropod), can be listed as the main appendage of any arthropod.



Vertebrates Animals

The vertebrate animals have a skeleton that is also articulated. This structure supports their bodies and helps them move. The main portion of the skeleton is the spine which is composed of vertebrae.

Characteristics of Vertebrates Animals

Unlike arthropods, the body of vertebrates is divided into head, trunk, and tail. In turn, the trunk is divided into thorax, abdomen and limbs.


Characteristics of Invertebrates Animals

Most of these animals have external protection or armor such as the beetles.  However, there are some invertebrates, which don´t have this protection as in the case of octopuses.

So, is the crab a vertebrate or an invertebrate animal?

Every crab is an invertebrate creature. Remember that, as we mentioned previously, they are arthropods, so they have appendages.

Properties of the Crab

Most of the six thousand species of crabs that exist in the world, provide many benefits for human beings. This animal is ideal seafood for the diets of people who want to lose weight, since its meat is very low in fat and calories.

Moreover, it provides a large amount of vitamins, such as vitamin B2 and vitamin C, and has a great wealth of minerals, such as magnesium, selenium, potassium and calcium. These facts make of this crustacean, a very popular dish in the worldwide gastronomy. It does not matter if the crab is a vertebrate or an invertebrate animal, what is really important is that you can prepare rich foods with it. (see our article Crabs, for more information about the properties and characteristics of these crustacean)

It must be taken into account, that the proportion of the nutrients of this animal could vary, depending on the species and the way it is cooked.

If you want to venture into the culinary world, and prepare a recipe with crabs, this information may be valuable to you, since there are infinity ways to prepare them, as well as a huge variety of recipes that are delicious to the palate of many people.

Let´s learn how to cook them….


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