The Blue Crab

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  • Topic: Blue crab, Crab, Maryland
  • Pages : 3 (1145 words )
  • Download(s) : 37
  • Published : February 13, 2007
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The Chesapeake Bay produces the largest amount of crabs in the United States. The Blue Crab or Callinectes sapidus, are mainly found in the deep waters of the open Bay among the waving strands of the bay grasses. The Blue Crab takes advantage of its' opportunities when it comes to food and feeds on live and dead fish, crabs, clams, snails, eelgrass, sea lettuce, and decayed vegetation and other foods which it is able to consume. Blue Crabs grow by the process of molting in which they shed or take off their outer hard shell and the soft shell under it eventually becomes another hard shell to help protect it from dangers which lurk and try to feed off the crabs. The difference between the male and female blue crabs can be told by the abdominals of the crabs. The male crab contains a long abdomen, as for the female crabs they contain the fitted abdomens. The Blue Crabs male life cycle first begins as a zoea, the youngest form of the cycle; the second form is the megalops which is followed by juvenile which is considered to be the immature male. The final form of the male life cycle is the mature male in which the blue crab is fully grown. The female blue crab is similar for the first two forms but differs in the last two forms. After becoming a megalops a female blue crab changes to an immature female crab and to the final form which is the mature female crab. Many people consider the Blue Crab to play a large role only in increasing the profits received by Virginia and Maryland due to the selling of the blue crabs. Though the crabs do help Virginia and Maryland make profits it also plays a great role in the food web of the Chesapeake Bay. The Blue Crab plays a huge role due to its ability to almost consume any item but also can feed on many other plants and animals. It also helps the cycle by being a food source or a prey to many other organisms or aquatic life such as some sharks, eels, drum, spot, trout, cownose, sting rays and off course many humans....
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