top of page
Close up to the side profile of a slightly transparent, yellow shrimp

About Decapod Crustaceans

Whilst there are thousands of species of crustaceans, both land and sea-dwelling, the type most consumed for food are "decapods" - or "10 limbed" creatures. These include crabs, lobsters, prawns, shrimp and crayfish.


Facts about decapod crustaceans:

1. Lobsters have blue blood. They can live for over 100 years.

A yellow lobster sits on rocks in the bottom of an aquarium

Credit: "Lobster" by AJMEXICO, Flickr, SRR

2. Crayfish walk forwards but swim backwards

Credit: Paulan Daniel, Youtube

3. Spiny lobsters are thought to be social animals and gather in groups of 12 or more. They migrate in long chains across the ocean floor, up to 50 lobsters at a time!

Spiny lobsters walk in a chain along the white sand ocean floor

Credit: Arkive

4. Crabs and lobsters' eyes are set on stalks which enables them to see all around and in different directions at once

Yellow ghost crab stands on sandy beach

Credit: Cangrejo, by qfwfq78, CC, Flickr

5. Both crabs and lobsters sense the world through hairs on their body which are sensitive to touch, sound, smell, taste, odour and temperature

Yellow ghost crab stands on sandy beach

Credit: Mark Yokoyama, Flickr, SRR

6. They communicate by flapping their pincers or drumming their claws; and will fight for the best hiding places but also sometimes work together to provide their young with food and protection.

An Atlantic lobster migrates to her breeding ground and fights for a nest. BBC's Blue Planet - BBC Earth

7. Hermit crabs live inside 'mobile homes' - the discarded seashells of other species, meaning they are as varied as a fancy dress party! When two hermit crabs meet, they may trade shells. Crabs have even been known to form an orderly chain from biggest to smallest to trade down!

Hermit crabs form a 'vacancy chain'. Taken from BBC Earth Kids, Life Story. Narrated by Sir David Attenborough.

bottom of page