There are many different types of creatures in the world including various mammals, reptiles, amphibians etc. There are numerous creatures that live on the Earth’s surface or thrive deep in the sea waters. After thousands and thousands of years of the Earth’s existence, there are still many creatures that are not known to mankind. Within many species, there are sub species and further divisions with many differences between them. The same is the case with crabs. There are many different kinds; snow crabs, king crabs, Opilio crabs, Bairdi crabs and so on. All have certain characteristics that make them different to each other, be it appearance, habits or other physical and biological characteristics.
To begin with, King crabs, that are also called stone crabs, belong to a superfamily of decapod crustaceans that are crab like and are usually found in cold seas. They have a large size and have a unique taste (of their meat). This is the reason that they are very popular and are caught in large quantities. Consequently, they are sold as food, whereby the most commonly consumed crab is the red king crab or the Paralithodes camtschaticus, as known scientifically. The origin of king crab is indeed interesting. It is actually thought to be derived from ancestors that were hermit type crabs. This all but explains the asymmetry that is still found in the adults of this species. There is still doubt in this theory but there is no denying the fact that king crabs are indeed the most abundant examples of carcinisation among all the Decapoda. As mentioned above, the asymmetry, specifically in the king crab’s abdomen, which also reflects the asymmetry of hermit type crabs that are located in the west coast, provides the evidence for the explanation of king crabs being the most abundant Decapoda carcinisation types. Moreover, king crabs were previously classified under the superfamily of Paguroidea as hermit crabs but they are now classified under a separate superfamily known as Lithodoidea.
On the other hand, snow crabs that are also known as queen crabs or Chionoecetes, is a genus of crabs that live mostly in the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. These crabs have many names in various parts of the world, for example in some areas they are also known as spider crabs! The generic name is Chionoecetes which means snow inhabitant. They are called snow crabs as they live in very cold climates, including snowy regions. They are found very far north such as the Arctic Ocean; right from Newfoundland to Greenland; and in the north of Norway that is in the Atlantic Ocean, across the Pacific Ocean, which includes the Bering Sea, Sea of Japan, Norton Sound, the Gulf of Alaska etc. Towards the south, they are found as far as California where they are usually referred to as Chionoecetes Bairdi.
The two types of crabs vary in a lot of characteristics. This includes size, identification, taste etc. The largest snow crabs have a weight of about five lbs whereas the largest of the king crabs are quite heavier and can have weights up 10 to pounds. Moving on, king crabs have 3 pairs of legs, a pincher claw and a larger crusher claw. In contrast to this, snow crabs have 5 pairs of legs. In addition to this, snow crabs’ legs are longer and thinner. As for the shell, king crabs have a harder and a spikier shell than the shell of a typical snow crab. The colour of both crabs is a shade of brown although snow crabs are ‘browner’.
Summary of differences expressed in points:
1) King crabs, that are also called stone crabs, belong to a superfamily of decapod crustaceans that are crab like and are usually found in cold seas; snow crabs are also known as queen crabs or Chionoecetes, the generic name is Chionoecetes which means snow inhabitant, they are also known as spider crabs
2) Snow crabs usually live in cold, snowy climates; king crabs do not have such a geographic or climatic availability
3) The largest snow crabs have a weight of about five lbs whereas the largest of the king crabs are quite heavier and can have weights up to 10 pounds
4) King crabs have 3 pairs of legs, a pincher claw and a larger crusher claw; snow crabs have 5 pairs of legs
5) Snow crabs’ legs are longer and thinner
6) King crabs have a harder and a spikier shell than the shell of a typical snow crab