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Basic Information

A crab is a type of crustacean arthropod. They have 10 limbs: 8 legs and 2 pinchers (technically called chelae). Their bodies are covered by an exoskeleton.

Crabs tend to be either marine or amphibious and are most often found in costal areas - although freshwater and deep sea varieties also exist and a few live entirely on land. A small number of species can swim, whilst the remainder are confined to walking, often with a distinctive sidelong gait. Size ranges from less than an inch across to several feet across, with the relative proportions of body and limbs varying by species.

Most varieties of crabs are omnivores, with different species feeding on different proportions of given foodstuffs - some are almost entirely herbivorous, grazing mostly on algae whilst others are aggressive predators, but almost all will happily consume any stray foodstuff that comes their way and are great eaters of corpses and animal carcasses.

Of course humans (and other species) more than repay the compliment, and crab is a common foodstuff amongst those communities that share a range with them. The most common parts of the crab used for human consumption are the claws and legs (especially in larger species). Crab roe is also eaten by some cultures.



Game and Story Use

  • Some of the larger crabs make a decent low level antagonist - or just an annoying wandering monster.
    • As discovered in the Pacific Theatre of WW2, they also have a nasty tendency to attack wounded or unconscious humans or bound prisoners.
    • Imperial Japanese forces occasionally amused themselves by feeding Allied POWs - or even local civilians - to the land crabs alive.
    • In other circumstances land crabs feeding on the dead and wounded could potentially lead to false assumptions of war crimes when troops find the mutilated corpses of their friends - especially if the men in question were alive when they left them.
  • Fantasy or sci-fi crabs can be larger still and a serious menace.
  • And of course, there is always the application of crabs as food, whether as a result of foraging, a cargo to be transported (say, as a barrel of live crabs) or a local delicacy. This can, of course, be combined with the aforementioned combat encounters.
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