Fun Red Rock Crabs Facts For Kids

Oluwatosin Michael
Nov 17, 2022 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed
Pacific red rock crabs facts about the crab with black-tipped claws.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.4 Min

These are a species of crab native to the pacific ocean. There exist a  total of 6793 species of crabs in oceans around the world and rock crabs have multiple types like the Atlantic rock crab, graceful rock crab, and Jonah crab among others. These belong to the same family of species.

They are invasive in nature and feed on species like the green crab. Crabs are types of crustaceans.

They are creatures with five pairs of legs, the first pair of which is are pinchers. The rest are simply used for walking.

Red rock crab meat is considered to be very tasty with most meat situated in the claw and their thigh areas with large claws. They are an important component of Oregon estuaries and nearshore areas. The California rock crab fishery is made up of three types of species.

In this article, we will take a look at some fun and interesting facts about this species. You could also visit Sally Lightfoot crab and fire coral facts if you liked this article.


Red Rock Crabs Interesting Facts

What type of animal are Red Rock Crabs?

These are a type of crab animal and their scientific name is Cancer productus.

What class of animal do Red Rock Crabs belong to?

Crabs are known as the amphibious creatures of the sea. They belong to the Malacostraca class of species.

How many Red Rock Crabs are there in the world?

The exact number of these in the world is unknown, however, there exist a total of 6793 species of crabs in oceans around the world.

Where do Red Rock Crabs live?

They exist primarily in northeast pacific coastal waters and certain other oceans in the world.

What is a Red Rock Crab's habitat?

Red rock crab habitat includes gravel, rock, or kelp beds in bays and most importantly the ocean. They can also be found in eelgrass, soft-bottom habitat, and shellfish beds. Each species of animals have their own habitat preferences and the red rock crab generally is found on either rocky terrain or enjoying itself on sandy habitats.

Who do Red Rock Crabs live with?

Adult rock crabs are seen living mostly alone and not necessarily in packs however when they are born they reside with all other little crab species. They are also considered as good meat and in some instances adopted as pets by certain people who love crabs.

How long do Red Rock Crabs live?

The breeding season of this crab continues between July and August. Pacific crabs have an average life expectancy of eight years.

They achieve complete growth after going through a process of molting where the crab sheds its own shell for a new one. Young crabs may molt several times a year but by the time they reach close to four-inch in width the frequency is reduced.

How do they reproduce?

In the months of October to November in Puget sound, the crab begins migration. Post-migration the crab's mate when the female comes into molt, the male guards the females when she casts off her old carapace.

The female post-mating then carries the eggs in her abdominal sac, and then their eggs hatch in the ocean.

Toward the beginning of this stage, the females brood their eggs in a burrow or mostly dirt for a period of 12-13 days.

Females can lay up to 100,000 eggs in one time. When the waning moon arrives the female crab makes their way into the sea and makes movements which is something similar to a dance at the edge of the water ultimately releasing her eggs.

What is their conservation status?

Their conservation status is not evaluated by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature (IUCN).

Red Rock Crabs Fun Facts

What do Red Rock Crabs look like?

To put it simply they look exactly like their name suggests, like a red rock. It has a strong exoskeleton and a carapace which is its large back.

They are small and can be mean animals to the extent of pinching if approached closely. The size of them makes it less common to buy since these crabs' claws are the major part of its body and are strong and big in size with black tips. Crabs have five pairs of legs.

The first pair of legs have adapted to be pinchers whereas the four remaining pairs are used for walking. Their eyes are usually pink or blue in color.

It is variable in color and photographs usually portray them to be bright orange or red with stripes or spots and claws with black tips.

How cute are they?

Adult crabs are not necessarily cute to look at however the baby crabs are. The Leucosia anatum crab is one of the most beautiful species of crab in the world.

How do they communicate?

These meat-eating species communicate via different channels. Stridulation being the first mode of communication which is producing sound by rubbing different body parts together. Apart from this, they might also communicate vis signals or vibrations to other species of their own kind specifically during mating season.

How big is are Red Rock Crabs?

They are six inches in length and sometimes reach lengths of up to eight inches depending on their environment which is 10 times bigger than the smallest species of crab known as the pea crab which is the size of a pea as an adult and measures 0.1-0.5 in (3.2-11.8 mm) wide.

How fast can Red Rock Crabs move?

They have two types of speed one is the low moving speed which is their normal movements which are less than 0.01 m/s and the fast-moving speed at 0.15 m/s which they utilize while attacking or to save themselves from possible predators. A crab can cover a distance of 270 m in a period of one hour.

How much does a Red Rock Crab weigh?

The Red rock crab weighs around 13 oz.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Red rock crab males and females are not referred to differently however there are biological differences that exist between the two. The male is larger in size as compared to the female.

The male can measure up to seven inches in size as compared to females who are five inches. Males have a narrow triangular abdomen as compared to females who have a much wider abdomen.

What would you call a baby Red Rock Crab?

Baby crabs are referred to as zoea.

Red rock crab is native to Oregon and is a crab of the Genus Cancer and is popularly known as the Sally Lightfoot crab. It is one of the most commonly seen in Pacific regions. They are small in size as compared to various other species of animals but are sweet and delicate in taste.  

What do they eat?

The red rock crab diet consists of green crab, snails, oysters, and clams  They are invasive in nature and feed on species like the green crab. Apart from their diet they also constitute a popular diet choice to predators and humans as well. Eating these crabs is a practice in various cultures as well.

Are they harmful?

They are harmful if approached unarmed. They survive only in a healthy ecosystem and if you see them it's probably an indicator of a good environment.

Red rock crab can be seen along the entire coast of Central America and Mexico and nearby islands as well as the western coast of North America. They are quick in movement and hard to catch their instant choice to escape is to use its claws to bite.

Crab is consumed in large amounts on the west coast. Eating red rock crab is a popular practice in different parts of the world and does not lead to major weight gain but excessive consumption can lead to a build-up of toxic chemicals in the human body.

Would they make a good pet?

These red rock crabs as pets are a good choice if you have an aquarium that is appropriately sized and has adequate water. A tank of 80-100 l is ideal for a pair of crabs.

Crab lovers will definitely enjoy keeping these species as pets. It's essential to ensure the legalities and regulations surrounding the creature in your region before considering adoption.

Keeping the pet animal outside water should be avoided for long periods of time. Food requirements include the same as that in the wild. Feeding them one large shrimp per animal in three-day intervals will suffice.

Even if you cannot adopt them as pets it's fine, it's best to observe them in their natural habitat. In fact, it's even better that way.

Did you know...

It's not unusual to find these crabs in Florida in fact, in the region, they celebrate the stone crab season which lasts from 1 October to 1 May every year. During this season fishermen are legally allowed to harvest the claws. The claw meat found in Florida stone crabs is considered a delicacy.

There are major differences between Dungeness versus red rock crabs. To begin with, the red rock crab prefers higher salinities than Dungeness crab and therefore is usually found in larger water bodies.

Another difference is in the amount of flesh.

The Dungeness is less sought after due to a lower amount of flesh even though they are bigger in size than the red rock crab. Lastly, they are native to different parts of the world while the red rock crab is native to the Pacific ocean, the Dungeness crab is native to northern California and other regions.

Millions of recipes on how to cook crabs exist online and in cookbooks. When caught to cook, their shell is cracked and guts cleared out and cooked in either sauce or broth. This meat does not taste good when reheated. Red rock crab is easier to cook than it is to find.

Why are they called Red Rock Crabs?

This crab looks exactly like a red rock. The red rock crab is native to Oregon and is a crab of the genus Cancer. This crab also likes to live among the rocky substrates.

How strong are their claws?

The red rock crabs' claws are extremely strong and can nip the toes of a human being if need be. The nip can be very painful and in most instances will have to be supported with medical help post hence it's safe to keep a distance while observing them.

Fishermen who catch them have certain techniques to keep safe so that they are not as much at risk.

It's difficult to spot a red rock crab however if you do you do you're lucky. The red rock crab is a unique and charismatic species of crabs.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including hermit crabs, or King crabs.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our cute hermit crab coloring pages.

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

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Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed

Bachelor of Law

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Abdulqudus MojeedBachelor of Law

A versatile professional with a passion for creative writing and technology. Abdulqudus is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Law from the University of Lagos and has experience as a tutor, intern assistant, and volunteer. He possesses strong organizational skills and is a detail-oriented person.

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