This lavishly illustrated book offers a remarkable look at the world's crabs. More than 7,000 crab species, in 100 different families, are known today. Their unique physiology and complex behaviours have made them one of the most diverse and adaptable of all animal groups. They can thrive in the darkness of abyssal seas, on the edges of scalding hot volcanic hydrothermal vents, on sunlit coral reefs, on wave-washed rocky shores, and in tropical rainforests at the tops of mountains. They even persist in some of the harshest desert conditions. Playing a vital role in marine and coastal ecology, crabs have been identified as keystone species in habitats such as coral reefs and coastal tropical swamps.
Crabs comprises five chapters: evolutionary pathways; anatomy and physiology; ecology; reproduction, cognition, and behaviour; and exploitation and conservation. Individual chapters include a variety of subtopics, each illustrated by exceptional images, and followed by numerous double full-page species' profiles. Each profile has been chosen to emphasize remarkable and intriguing aspects of the life of these fascinating creatures. Some species may be familiar, but many are beyond anything you have probably seen before and will stretch your understanding of what a crab is.
Written by a world authority, Crabs offers an accessible overview of these fascinating crustaceans.
Peter J. F. Davie is an honorary research fellow and formerly senior curator of crustacea at the Queensland Museum in Australia. A marine taxonomist and ecologist, he has published more than 160 scientific papers and numerous books. He is an internationally recognized expert on the taxonomy and biodiversity of crabs and has named two new crab families and more than 125 new crustacean species.
"Filled with beautiful photographs, this great book looks at the beauty and diversity of crabs and covers an incredibly broad range of topics. I have studied crabs for decades and I still learned a huge amount from reading this work."
– Patricia Backwell, Australia National University