What is a crab? What significance do crabs play in the world? Cynthia Chris explores the true nature of these hard-shelled creatures and discovers that these charming animals are social by nature, creative problem-solvers and invaluable members of the environments in which they live. Their formidable physical forms and their sassy demeanour have inspired artists and writers from Vincent van Gogh to Jean-Paul Sartre. Cynthia Chris sketches a vivid portrait of these animals, tracing the history of the crab from its ancient fossil record to its essential role in protecting its own habitats from the threat of climate change.
Cynthia Chris is Professor of Media Culture at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. She is the author of Watching Wildlife and The Indecent Screen: Regulating Television in The Twenty-First Century.
"This book explores everything that is interesting about crabs; from their weird and wonderful behaviours, their evolution, whether they experience pain, how they are depicted in literature, and even how fights have broken out over the last crab legs at the buffet. This is no dry scientific text. It is the ‘story’ of crabs; gripping, fascinating, beautiful. Cynthia Chris is part detective, part scientist and always an exceptionally good writer. She has dug through the literature, spoken to the scientists and watched crabs in action. Her magnificent book will enthrall scientists and beginners alike. I cannot recommend this superb book too highly."
– Patricia Backwell, Professor of Biology, Australian National University