Evolution's Favorite Design?  The Crabs Keep Coming (And We're Not Crabby About It!) 

 May 17th , 2024


Do you think crabs are just for seafood boils? Evolution has another idea. They keep popping up in unexpected places! 

It's not a disease! It's the term for when non-crab creatures evolve into crab-like forms. 

What's Carcinization?

Scientists are still figuring it out, but the flat, wide-body plan might offer protection and flexibility. 

Why Be a Crab?

It's happened at least FIVE times independently in different crustacean lineages. It's like nature keeps hitting the "make crab" button. 

How Many Times?

Hermit crabs, king crabs, and even some lobsters have evolved from less-crabby ancestors. 

Who's Joining the Club?

There are "true crabs" and "fake crabs" (carcinized), but both rock the iconic look. 

Carcinized vs. True Crabs

Crabs are diverse and abundant. This shape works, though the 'why' is still debated. 

Evolutionary Success Story

There's even a tongue-in-cheek term: "Everything eventually becomes a crab." Are we next? (Probably not...but it's fun to think about!) 

A Fun Fact to End On