Can Crabs Swim?

Crabs are such fascinating creatures. They can both walk and swim, for a while at least.

Swimming crabs (Portunids) have two sets of legs: the first set is used for walking on land, and the second set is used to help them swim underwater.

When crabs need to move quickly or cross over large distances, they use their front claws as paddles in the water.

However, not all species of crabs swim; only a few species of crabs can swim. Some crab populations live mostly in saltwater environments where swimming would be difficult because it’s too dense with oxygen-depleted waters.

Some live entirely on land without any access to water bodies, but they are able to swim when they need to.

Aquatic crabs live in the marine or brackish waters and are built for swimming, such as hermit crabs. Some of these species have been seen making their way across the seabed with two claws extended out like a pair of wings.

The blue crab that’s found in the Chesapeake Bay area is another example of swimming crabs.

Their claws are shaped like paddles, and they move through the water by alternately waving their two forward limbs in front of them, much like a swimmer’s legs kicking steadily to keep themselves afloat.

can crab swim

Which Crab Species Can’t Swim?

Coconut crabs are among the non-swimming crabs. They can be found on islands in the Indian Ocean, and their natural habitat includes beaches, coral reefs, and coastal forests.

Coconut crabs are terrestrial animals that can’t swim because they don’t have gills like their swimming cousins.

The other species that cannot swim is the fiddler crab. The claws of the fiddler crabs are big enough to pick up small insects.

And they have a hardy greenish-brown shell with two large yellow eyes on top, which makes them look like tiny dinosaurs from another planet.

Can Crabs Swim Backwards?

Swimming crabs often swim sideways, but they have also been seen swimming backwards. However, these crabs are less likely to move backwards than forward because they have limited vision on their backs.

It is also more difficult for them to smell what they’re looking at when they swim in that direction.

Can Crabs Swim Upside Down?

It is believed that crabs can swim upside down, but they will not do so unless something scares them and causes them to flip over.

The horseshoe crab, for instance, has been seen to swim upside down to avoid predators. The spider crab will also occasionally swim upside down if something scares them enough.

While most crab species are not designed for swimming, some can make long journeys across the ocean, occasionally swimming.

However, they cannot do this with any ease because their shells weigh them down in the water and make it difficult for them to move through the currents.

Note, however, that even the swimming crabs don’t always enjoy swimming.

The reason is that it’s hard for them to breathe with water going into their gills. Most will only swim if something scares them enough to make that necessary.