What Does Crab Eat

What Does Crab Eat?

Crabs are fun and interesting creature, who looks just like sand dollars with legs! There are over 4500 species of crabs that come in many different sizes.

Most crabs are about the size of a human hand, but the Japanese spider crab is quite uncommon and quite a sight to see! The giant body is about 15 inches across, with legs that can span nearly 12 feet from one pincher edge to the next. The tiniest crab is the pea crab and it is very small.

Many people are familiar with hermit crabs, the orange crabs with beady black eyes that live in shells, but these are not actually crabs because they have a soft bodies.

A lot of crabs live in the ocean, but some species are found in fresh-water rivers and lakes. Let’s take a look at what these crabs eat.

How do crabs hunt ?

Some crabs actively hunt smaller crabs, fish and crustaceans, such as shrimp, krill or prawn. The Dungeness crab scours the ocean floor looking for prey to eat, using its large claws to snatch a passing squid for example.

Some crabs, like the red king crab, have one claw that is larger than the other. It is used to crush smaller crabs like edible ones. Crab species that are scavengers will often forage for food such as dead animals, plants, and even rocks!

What Does Crab Eat?

brown and white crab photography

Crabs mainly eat an omnivorous diet. Smaller crabs eat seaweed, worms, algae, small clams, and shrimp. Larger crabs can eat snails, mussels, squid, other crabs, and small fish. Some species of crabs can eat hard foods like starfish, barnacles, and even sand dollars. There are a wide variety of species of crabs, with some that are carnivores, some omnivores, and some that are vegetarian.

Here are all the foods crabs eat:

  • Seaweed
  • Mussels
  • Whelks
  • Algae
  • Small fish
  • Smaller crabs
  • Crustaceans
  • Shrimp
  • Krill
  • Prawn
  • Carrion
  • Squid
  • Small clams

What does the smallest crab eat?

The pea crab is small but don’t let that fool you because it has a very minimal diet. It lives inside the shells of other mollusks and mussels and only eats anything leftover from what its host has eaten. But since they are so small, you can imagine how much they eat on a daily basis!

What does the largest crab eat?

two crabs on rock

Giant Japanese spider crabs are scavengers that feed on dead animals and plants. Others open the shells of mollusks like clams, periwinkles, and mussels to eat the insides.

They live in great depths and can grow up to 100 years! These crabs have no trouble with humans.

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