Q:

What do sand crabs eat?

A:

Quick Answer

The sand crab's food supply comes solely from plankton and its important component, dinoflagellates. To feed, the crabs find the swash zone where the waves are breaking and bury themselves backwards. Then they use antennae to catch plankton during a receding wave.

Know More

Full Answer

With their faces pointed to the sea, the crabs unfurl a pair of feather-like antennae that catch plankton. The action of the feather-like antennae is so fast that a crab can feed multiple times during one receding wave. The dinoflagellates that the crab eats are single-celled organisms that have chloroplasts mitochondria and nucleus and are covered by plates.

Sand crabs are about the size of a human thumb and live in shifting sands on beaches and sand dunes. It has a gray shell, which keeps it camouflaged and a thick, armored body with pin-like legs that help it walk on shifting sand. Unlike most crabs which can move forward, backward and sideways, the sand crab can only move backward. It also has no claws on its front legs, unlike most species of crab.

Sand crab are fed on by birds and fish and are used as bait to catch surfperches. Bait fisheries use sand crabs that are in their soft-shell stage after molting and before the new shell hardens.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What do ocean crabs eat?

    A:

    Most ocean crabs are considered carnivores and eat just about any meat they can find. There are a few species that are omnivores, however, and eat plants as well as meat.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do saltwater hermit crabs eat?

    A:

    Hermit crabs are omnivores and eat almost anything available. In captivity, they may eat raw fish, cooked chicken and a variety of vegetables, fruits and nuts.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do ghost crabs eat?

    A:

    The ghost crab is a generalist as it eats carrion, debris and smaller animals, such as clams, turtle hatchlings and other crabs. Ghost crabs mostly feed during the night.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What do shore crabs eat?

    A:

    Shore crabs feed primarily on invertebrates such as molluscs, clams, crustaceans and worms, but they eat practically anything they can get a hold of, including the remains of dead organisms. Their voracious appetites have lead to the regional decline of several species. Shore crabs are an invasive species due to their easily accomodated diets and widespread dispersion.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore