“In general, I don’t think crabs receive as much stop-and-awe as they deserve. Although, when this one does make an appearance, it’s certainly an eye catcher!”
That’s what Katarina S., customer service agent at the Vancouver Aquarium, has to say about the Puget Sound king crab (Lopholithodes mandtii) – her pick for October’s Staff Pick of the Month.
Although they are brightly coloured with reds, oranges and purples, Puget Sound king crabs can be hard to spot because their mottled shell helps them camouflage against the rocky bottom of the northern Pacific Ocean (off the west coast of North America). There’s a Puget Sound king crab living in the Strait of Georgia exhibit at the Aquarium, but you’ll need time and patience to look for it.
Katarina says her favourite fact about crabs is that “when you are admiring the pretty shell on a crab, especially on the Puget Sound king crab, you are actually admiring its skeleton. Unlike us, crabs have exoskeletons, which means their skeletons are on the outside of their bodies.”
There’s a little freaky tidbit for you, just in time for Halloween.
Written by Karen Horak, writer-editor, content and digital experience at the Vancouver Aquarium.