Parts of a Crab: Useful Crab Anatomy with Pictures

Last Updated on November 8, 2023

Crabs are a type of crustacean with a hard exoskeleton and ten legs. They are found in oceans, freshwater, and even on land.

In this article, we will explore the various parts of a crab and their functions. Whether you are a seafood lover or simply curious about marine life, understanding the parts of a crab is a great way to appreciate their complexity and beauty. So, let’s dive in and explore the world of the parts of a crab!

Crab Anatomy

Parts of a Crab: Useful Crab Anatomy with PicturesPin

Parts of a Crab

  • Claw or chela
  • Antenna
  • Eyes
  • Dactyl
  • Carpus
  • Cepalothorax
  • Abdomen
  • Swimming legs
  • Walking legs
  • Merus
  • Propodus

Crab Body Parts Image

Parts of a Crab: Useful Crab Anatomy with PicturesPin

Crab Parts with Examples

Learn these crab parts names to improve and enhance your vocabulary words in English about animal body parts.

Claw or chela

The claw/chela of the crab is so powerful that it can even break through the shells of other crabs.


The crab’s antennae can be regenerated if they are damaged or lost, allowing the crab to continue to survive and thrive.


The crab’s eyes are able to detect polarized light, which helps it to navigate and orient itself in the water.


The crab’s dactyl is incredibly strong and can crush even the toughest shells.


The carpus is located at the end of the crab’s walking legs, just before the claw.


The cephalothorax contains many of the crab’s vital organs, including its brain, heart, and digestive system.


The abdomen of the crab is flexible, allowing the crab to curl up into a ball for protection.

Swimming legs

The swimming legs, also known as appendages, are located on the abdomen of the crab.

Walking legs

The walking legs of the crab are an essential part of its anatomy, allowing it to navigate both land and sea environments.

Animal Body Parts Vocabulary

Learn useful animal body parts with different types of animals and animals images.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main components of crab anatomy?

A crab’s body is divided into two main parts: the cephalothorax (head and thorax combined) and the abdomen. The cephalothorax is covered by a hard exoskeleton called the carapace, which protects the crab’s vital organs. Crabs have ten legs, including two large claws called chelipeds, four pairs of walking legs, and two smaller rear legs. Additionally, crabs have eyes, antennae, mouthparts, and gills.

Which crab organs are edible?

The edible parts of a crab include the meat found in its legs and claws, as well as the flavorful, soft body meat located in its central compartment or body cavity. The crab’s gills and digestive organs, sometimes collectively referred to as the “mustard” or “tomalley,” are generally discarded, as they can contain harmful substances and have an unpleasant taste.

What is the function of crab gills?

Crab gills are respiratory organs that allow the crab to extract oxygen from the water, similarly to how fish use their gills. Located under the carapace, the gills have a feathery appearance and function by drawing water over the gill surfaces, enabling oxygen to pass through the gill membranes and into the crab’s bloodstream.

How does a crab’s mouth work?

A crab’s mouth consists of several specialized parts, including mandibles (jaws) and maxillipeds, which are leg-like structures that aid in the manipulation and ingestion of food. The mandibles are responsible for crushing and grinding food, while the maxillipeds help the crab to taste, hold, and move food into its mouth.

What is the role of the cephalothorax in crabs?

The cephalothorax is the combined head and thorax region of the crab, which houses the majority of the crab’s vital organs and plays a crucial role in its sensory, feeding, and locomotive abilities. The cephalothorax contains the crab’s brain, eyes, mouthparts, and gills, as well as its reproductive and excretory organs.

What are the different segments in a crab’s body?

A crab’s body is divided into two primary segments: the cephalothorax and the abdomen. The cephalothorax contains the head and thorax regions, while the abdomen, often called the “tail” or “apron,” is located beneath the crab’s body and can be folded up or extended depending on the crab’s needs. In some species, the abdomen is prominently visible, while in others, it may be flattened or tucked away under the cephalothorax.

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5 thoughts on “Parts of a Crab: Useful Crab Anatomy with Pictures”

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