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Crab History

Out of the 4,400 varieties of crab, most are found in North America


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Snow Crab

© 2008 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone

Crab History

Crabs are of the order Decapoda which covers a large variety of different crustaceans. The word crab comes from the Middle English.

The crab is one of the oldest species on earth. The horseshoe crab dates back over 200 million years and is literally a living fossil. Most people are aware of the zodiac sign of Cancer, named for the constellation which resembles the outline of a crab.

The majority of edible crabs have five pairs of legs, with the front legs being larger pinchers. Out of the 4,400 varieties of crab, most are found in North America in both salt and fresh water. Second only to shrimp in shellfish popularity, the world is fiercely proud of the crab recipes which spotlight the type of crab most-prized in their region.

There are many varieties of crabs. Check this handy crab reference chart for a visual and text description of the different types along with other crab terms you may come across in your culinary endeavors.

More About Crabs and Crab Recipes:

Crab Selection and Storage
What is a she-crab? FAQ
Crab Varieties
Crab Terminology
Peekytoe Crabs
Crabs and Health
Crab History
Crab Recipes
Crab Photos © 2008 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.


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