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Ocean Life in Alaska

Blue King Crab

What are crabs?

Crabs are related to insects and are in the same phylum as spiders, Arthropoda. Crabs are generally covered with a thick exoskeleton and armed with a single pair of claws. Crabs are found in all of the world's oceans and vary in size from a few millimeters (pea crab) to the japanese crab with a leg span of over 3 meters (10 feet)!

Why do scientists study crabs?

Scientists study crabs to learn about where they live, how long they live, and how many are in Alaska waters. All of this information helps our scientists determine how many crabs can be caught sustainably, so fishermen can continue catching crabs for generations to come!

King crabs and snow crabs were famous before the show Deadliest Catch. Why? Because their meat has been prized by chefs around the world for decades and they are uniquely found in Alaska.
Learn more about these Alaskan crabs:

Blue King Crab
Golden King Crab
Red King Crab
Snow Crab
Southern Tanner Crab

Check out cool photos at the Crab Gallery