Walking sideways: the remarkable world of crabs.

Walking sideways: the remarkable world of crabs. Judith S. Weis.
Walking sideways: the remarkable world of crabs.

Cornell: Cornell University Press, 2012. Octavo, dustwrapper, photographs.

In this book, Weis provides an engaging and informative tour of the remarkable world of crabs, highlighting their unique biology and natural history. Among the topics Weis covers are the evolution and classification of crabs, their habitats, unique adaptations to water and land, reproduction and development, behaviour, ecology, and threats, including up-to-date research. Crabs are of special interest to biologists for their communication behaviours, sexual dimorphism, and use of chemical stimuli and touch receptors. In addition to the traditional ten-legged crabs, the book also treats those that appear eight-legged, including hermit crabs, king crabs, and sand crabs. Sidebars address topics of special interest, such as the relationship of lobsters to crabs and medical uses of compounds derived from horseshoe crabs (which aren't really crabs). While Weis emphasizes conservation and the threats that crabs face, she also addresses the use of crabs as food (detailing how crabs are caught and cooked) and their commercial value from fisheries and aquaculture. She highlights other interactions between crabs and people, including keeping hermit crabs as pets or studying marine species in the laboratory and field.

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