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Atlantic rock crab
Common Name:

Atlantic rock crab

Scientific Name:

Cancer irroratus

Unique Qualities:

It can grow new legs! If a leg is damaged, the crab can replace it by growing another. When the crab is ready to molt (shed its exoskeleton), a new leg appears. The new leg is smaller and it will take a few molts before the leg is back to its original size.

Link to Map
Can be Seen:

Along the coast of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and all the way down to Florida.

Likes to Hang Out:

Scuttling along sideways on rocky or sandy shorelines as well as on the bottom of the ocean in water 780 m deep. That's the same as 390 deep ends of a swimming pool on top of each other!

Likes to Eat:

Just about anything! Most crabs are scavengers and eat whatever they can get their claws on, from dead fish and seaweed to scallops and mussels.


Scientific research tells us that the rock crab population is still healthy and abundant. However, scientists warn that overharvesting is a potential problem and that the government should closely monitor their population.

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