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SEASIDE AQUARIUM

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Crab shells

Crab shells 2

Walking along the tide-line you may occasionally notice numerous crab shells on the beach. Many people mistake these empty shells for dead crabs. What most people do not know is that as crabs grow, they shed their shells and grow new ones in a process called molting. Discarded crab shells settle on the ocean floor until strong currents wash them ashore. Molted crab shells have all the external parts intact - including legs, antennae, eyes, and gill supports, which makes it difficult to tell whether or not you are looking at a dead crab or just a molt.

Complete molt from a
Spot-bellied Rock Crab
(Cancer antennarius)

Crab Closeup



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Seaside Aquarium, 200 North Prom, Seaside, Oregon 97138 Tel: (503) 738-6211.