May 24, 2024

Balkan Travellers

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Here we see an orange/red crab with a pale yellow underbelly with its two claws raised in the air. It is on a sandy beach.

Why do animals keep evolving into crabs?

Round flat shell. Tail tucked under the body. This is what crabs look like, and what peak performance looks like — at least according to development. The crab-like body plan has evolved at least five times among the crustaceans, a group that includes crabs, lobsters, and shrimp. In fact, it so often happens that there is a name for it: carcinoma.

So why do animals keep evolving into crab-like shapes? Scientists don’t know for sure, but they have a lot of ideas.