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THE 5 RAREST CRUSTACEANS » Characteristics and Way of Life

Some 45,000 species of crustaceans have been counted worldwide and many of them stand out as the rarest crustaceans in the world.

These rare animals commonly found in aquatic environments are truly amazing and hide wonderful secrets.

The 5 Rarest Crustaceans in the world

Among the rarest crustaceans in the world are those we now show you in this ranking:

1. Coconut Crab

The Coconut Crab (Birgus Lastro) is a rare crustacean that comes out every night to climb the coconut palms, takes a coconut and peels it with its powerful claws. For this reason, it is also known as a robber crab.

It is the largest crab on the planet because it reaches the size of 1 meter and weighs approximately 4 kilograms. This “monster” has an incredible physical strength that allows it to transport weights that reach 30 kilograms.

2. Yeti Crab

With the Yeti Crab (Kiwa hirsuta) the family Kiwaidae is born. It is a large animal and is named for its white color and for its claws covered with silky filaments similar to hair or feathers.

This rare animal is much larger than other crustaceans, possessing long, huge, hairy claws on its front legs.

The Yeti crab can move through the depths of the sea thanks to its silks and claws. It also has an excellent capacity to adapt to extreme living conditions.

3. Japanese Spider Crab Giant

The Giant Japanese Crab (Macrocheira kaempferi) is a rare decapod crustacean that is part of the spider crab group.

This strange crustacean is characterized by a triangular carapace and long legs that measure between 1 and 2 meters.

It is even more surprising when measured in its entirety as it can reach 4 meters and weigh 20 kilograms.

This rare crustacean, considered the largest crab in the world, lives in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Japan at depths ranging from 150 to 800 meters.

4. Skeleton Shrimp

The Skeleton Shrimp (Liropus minusculus) is a crustacean that has a rather spooky and ghostly appearance: you can see its entire skeleton. It has long, hooked legs that are very useful for feeding.

At first glance it is not only one of the rarest crustaceans in the world but also one of the worst looking animal species.

5. Peacock Mantis Shrimp

Another of the world’s rarest crustaceans is the Mantis Shrimp (Odontodactylus scyllarus) which belongs to the order Stomatopoda and for years has surprised the scientific community with its deadly blow.

This “fighter” has very powerful tweezers, in which several layers of minerals are present and which have the power to kill whoever receives a blow from them.

The mantis shrimp is geographically located in the great coral reef of Australia.

Characteristics of the world’s rarest crustaceans

Crustaceans are aquatic arthropods that breathe through gills or through the surface of the body.

They are covered by a calcified shell that can be hard or flexible, and also have antennae and appendages.

It can be said that they are the owners of the waters, living in the fresh and salt waters of all depths.

Physical characteristics of this group

Their size may vary with respect to each species. For example, there are species that only measure 1.0mm and others that reach almost 4 meters, such as the Japanese giant crab.

The bodies of the crustaceans are formed by three body zones or regions: Head (cephalon), Thorax (pereion) and Abdomen (pleon)

Some deep-sea crustaceans clean the waters of carcasses left over from hunting other animals.

In the same way, others convert plant matter into animal matter by feeding on phytoplacton, which will serve as food for carnivorous animals.

Where do these rare crustaceans live?

Crustaceans are rare aquatic animals, being the seas, oceans, rivers and lakes the places where they are found.

They are commonly found in coral reefs, buried in the sand and in the abyssal (bottom) zone of the oceans.

What do they feed on?

They usually feed on smaller fish, molluscs and crustaceans. However, the feeding of crustaceans can vary depending on the species. It varies between predation, scavenging and symbiosis.

How do rare crustaceans reproduce?

Their reproduction is exclusively sexual. Fertilization is always internal. The gonads are located in the abdomen of the females and through developed and specialized appendages that the males possess, the sperm are transferred.

Later, the female disperses the eggs into the water where the young will be born in a larval state but with many characteristics similar to an adult state.