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What Is A Crustacean?

Crustacean, from Latin crusta (“crust”, "crust”), is a class of gill- breathing arthropod animals, which have two pairs of antennae and a variable number of appendages and which are covered by a generally calcified shell.



The crustaceans constitute a subfilo of the arthropods. There are more than 67,000 species of crustaceans, such as crabs, shrimps, lobsters and prawns. Most crustaceans are aquatic, living in fresh and salt water and in all depths.

All crustaceans share certain anatomical characteristics, although their size is very variable. The bodies are composed of various segments or metamers that are usually part of three body regions: the cephalon (the head), the pereion (thorax) and the pleon (abdomen). The first segments of the thorax can be attached to the head forming the region known as cephalothorax.

Crustaceans are often a fish and food resource appreciated by many. Shrimp, for example, are consumed almost everywhere in the world. The usual thing is that they eat cooked and without the head, the shell, the fins and the intestines. The tortillita shrimp, the shrimp cocktail, the shrimp soup and rice with shrimp are some of the most popular dishes made with this crustacean.

Shrimp is another crustacean that is consumed as food in various regions of the planet. Your body is a source of vitamins B and D and minerals such as phosphorus, iron and iodine. The shrimp cocktail, the king prawns brochettes and the king prawns ceviche are among the recipes that can be made with the crustacean.

Here are some of the rarest crustaceans in the world:

Skeleton shrimp

skeleton shrimp

This crustacean, whose females poison and devour males after mating, has a very particular physical appearance, similar to that of a translucent skull. It has an elongated body, which is firmly attached to various surfaces, including algae, sponges and corals, so that their prey will not detect their presence in time to escape from their claws. It is worth mentioning that the action of the human being has forced this species to change its habitat on more than one occasion.

Pea Crab

It is a type of parasite belonging to the family Pinnotheridae, which lives in the bodies of oysters, sea cucumbers, clams and sea squirts, among other animals, and consumes a percentage of the food of its host. Physically, it is characterized by having a soft and delicate skin.


To the naked eye, the crustacean of the Remipedia class resembles a centipede, so much so that it also has a series of protuberances that it uses to inject venom into its prey. It usually lives in saltwater aquifers and underwater caverns, which makes it a difficult animal to spot.

Whale louse

Also called cyamid, it is the largest arthropod ever discovered and spends its life on the body surface of whales and porpoises, clinging to their scars and wrinkles. It should be noted that it does not cause any kind of damage to your host; On the contrary, they feed on their dead skin, as well as on algae. Although it is not obvious to the naked eye, it belongs to a branch of the skeleton shrimp family that does not hunt to survive.

Anchor Worm

This name responds to diverse families of copepod crustaceans (small that live in the sea or in fresh water and that are part of the plankton). When they reach maturity, their physical appearance does not seem to bear any relation to that of an arthropod and they are usually seen in the company of other invertebrates or even fish.


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