Discover where do crabs inhabit, those funny animals that come out to greet us when we go to the beach, or when we walk along the coast, rivers, lagoons, and inlets.
These friendly crustaceans that in many occasions we think that only inhabit the beaches, have in fact several habitats that we will know next.
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Ghost crabs or beach crabs.
Ghost crabs or sand crabs are semi-terrestrial decapod crustaceans, mainly white in color, although they can change it to camouflage themselves in their environment. These crabs are what we commonly see on the beaches, although there are other species such as the coconut crabs, hermit crabs and fiddler crabs that can also be seen easily in such locations.
The ghost crabs dig burrows in the sand to protect themselves from their predators and even from different environmental conditions wandering the sand just to get food. When these crustaceans breathe oxygen, they need to keep their gills moist, so it is common to see them ingesting seawater, this being the most common reason that brings them closer to water.
The coconut crabs can be included in the group of beach crabs because although they are born in the sea, once they land, they only return to reproduce and die. This and other crabs of terrestrial habits inhabit burrows that they dig in the sand, or on a surface that is not so hard for them. Although you may not believe it, crabs can even use abandoned houses to inhabit them.
When they are closer to the coast, they usually live among the cracks in the rocks, or in the natural caverns that are formed with them. Some crabs prefer to live far from human beings, and when they have no choice, they only leave their burrows at night, when they feel they are not in any danger.
Most species of crabs come into this category. First we must point out that these crustaceans are not characterized by being good swimmers so they usually walk on the bottom of the area where they inhabit what makes them benthic creatures. There is one other species that can develop nektonic habits living in different depths of the sea.However the yeti crabs are one of the few species that inhabit only in the depths of the ocean in areas close to cold seeps or hydrothermal vents.
As for the Japanese spider crabs, they inhabit only the waters of that archipelago at depths ranging from 150 meters to 300 meters being also mainly aquatic species.Let us now mention the hermit crabs that are aquatic and coastal aquatic, and can live both at the bottom of the sea, at a hundred and forty meters (140), in reefs, in rocky coastal areas, and of course, in the sand on the shore of the beaches. When they are on land, they prefer to live hidden under the rocks, as long as they can live close to the coast. However, they always need to go to the water to keep their gills moist to survive and reproduce.
Where do crabs inhabit: Corals reefs
This massive structure is composed of coral polyps, which are small marine animals, which thrive in different colonies. It has hard structures that leave behind when some marine creatures die; and another stony and branched limestone structure, which is quite robust, and creates a comfortable habitat for new species of crabs. There are hard and soft corals, and the reefs of the strip are formed along the coasts, in shallow waters, harboring a large quantity of sea crabs in them. There are also barrier reefs, which grow farther into the ocean, along the entire coast.
The coral atolls grow in rings on the top of volcanoes located at the bottom of the ocean. These structures begin as fringe reefs, but as the volcano sinks, they are harboring a big diversity of species.
Where do crabs inhabit: Mangroves
Mangroves are saline forests formed by trees highly resistant to salinity, and are characterized by a coastal environment of fine sediment deposition, where crabs inhabit to protect themselves from the predators, the waves, and get their food.
The saline conditions tolerated by the species that inhabit them, such as mangrove crabs , vary from brackish water, pure sea water, to water concentrated by evaporation and more than double the salinity of the seawater of the surrounding ocean. These mangroves protect coastal areas from erosion, as well as the species that inhabit them, including crabs, protecting them from hurricanes and tsunamis, since the massive roots of mangrove trees dissipate the waves´ energy, They also slow down the tidal water enough so that the sediments are deposited as the tide enters and leaves everything, until the tide falls.
Let´s watch them
Not all crabs belong to salty waters, since there are also freshwater crabs which live not only in cold, crystalline waters of fast currents, but also in more temperate waters, with viscous bottoms and lower current. However, the middle and lower courses of water, the watersheds and the headwaters of rivers and streams can also be inhabited by the crayfish. In general, these crustaceans prefer to live in shallow rivers with abundant vegetation and it is essential for them presence of oxygenated water, the banks of steep wall to dig their holes which must contain enough stones and roots that allow them to take refuge from their predators.