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 L# Invertebrates
  L# Can I handle a crab?
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SubscribeCan I handle a crab?
Cortrell
Fingerling
Posts: 15
Kudos: 14
Registered: 22-Feb-2010
male
Simply put, would it be possible for me to handle a crab? I mean I'm sure it's possible but would it cause a lot of stress or bring really negative outcomes? I know they're really shy and this isn't a necessary thing to do. But it's like holding a snake, kinda just want to do it to do it.

It's a red claw crab about 2" wide
Post InfoPosted 18-Mar-2010 03:19Profile PM Edit Report 
Callatya
 
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Moderator
The girl's got crabs!
Posts: 9662
Kudos: 5261
Registered: 16-Sep-2001
female australia au-newsouthwales
EditedEdited 19-Mar-2010 05:52
Handle as in play with or handle as in safely pick up and move?

They are easy enough to handle, but at that size it will give you a decent nip if it gets a chance. I think the type of handling you might like to do might not be safe for either of you. I mean, the worst you'll get is a nip, but crabs can drop claws (still firmly attached to you) and humans have this natural reaction to crab bites that seems to involve recoiling and flinging their hand, so it is an easy way for the crab to go whizzing off and crash into a hard surface. Don't try and hold it in the palm of your hand, that is asking for trouble. Keep it's feet off surfaces.

If you are going to do it, only hold the back of the shell near the 'armpits' so you are positioned behind the main claws, hold it firmly as they do wiggle, be aware that they can get those claws fairly far backwards. Keep the holding periods short and predictable.
I'm not sure how good of a memory crustacea have, but in most cases predictability can reduce stress even when the action isn't entirely pleasant.

It shouldn't die from brief handling once in a while, or something like weekly moving from the main tank to a holding tank while you clean. Your big concern should be the stress on actually picking it up from the tank (chasing around and decor moving and crushing it), and being sure it doesn't fall while you are moving it.

For animals, the entire universe has been neatly divided into things to (a) mate with, (b) eat, (c) run away from, and (d) rocks.

Post InfoPosted 19-Mar-2010 05:50Profile Homepage ICQ AIM MSN Yahoo PM Edit Delete Report 
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