Crabs: a global natural history.

Crabs: a global natural history. Peter J. F. Davie.
Crabs: a global natural history.

Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2021. Octavo, boards, colour photographs, maps.

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 behaviors 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 rain forests 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.

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 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.

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