(TargetLiberty.org) – According to a report from IFLScience, there’s a saying on the internet that everything eventually looks like a crab and they will one day rule the Earth. Although the chances of a crab kingdom are highly unlikely, there is some truth to the theory — at least when it comes to crustaceans.
In five different instances, crustaceans have evolved into the shape of a crab — and scientists aren’t completely sure why. However, there’s a term to describe the process. “Carcinization is an example of convergent evolution” where a “non-crab-like crustacean evolves into a crab-like form.”
The phenomenon is so widely known that it's been given a name—carcinization, a term that's been in use for over 140 years. Through this process, crabs have evolved at least five times from separate groups of crustaceans. https://t.co/SJanZp6dna
— Holtz (@Biorealism) October 16, 2021
The five examples of carcinization are:
- King crabs
- Hairy stone crabs
- Porcelain crabs
- Hermit crabs
- Cyclida, an extinct crustacean order
King crabs, which are an extremely popular delicacy, actually evolved from hermit crabs. Scientists believe they evolved from the hermit crab because both are asymmetrical. Porcelain crabs look like a true crab, but they’re actually more closely related to squat lobsters. The only “true crabs” are the blue and Dungeness.
Heather Bracken-Grissom, an associate professor at Florida International University, and Jo Wolfe, a research associate at Harvard, received a National Science Foundation grant in 2019 to study crab evolution. Bracken-Grissom said, “There has to be some kind of evolutionary advantage to be this crablike shape.”
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