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Photo by Thomas Lipke on Unsplash

Recently, I came across with the term carcinisation. I got so interested as to the peculiarity of this term that I decided to research more about it. It turns out that it makes reference to the process of transformation from a non-crab-like crustacean into a crab-like crustacean. This is an interesting case of convergent evolution, and, apparently, nature tends to enable this kind of evolution -carcinisation-in what we may call a frequent way: at least five times throughout the history of life!

Discovery of Hermit Crabs

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Photo by David Clode on Unsplash

While reading more about this fantastic case of evolution, I suddenly found myself investigating more about crabs. Surely some of you might be thinking at this point, what could be so interesting about crabs aside this particular evolutionary process? Well, I have to admit that previously I have also never felt interested in this kind of creatures. However, after reading about carcinisation, I found it fascinating the fact that although some animals might look like crabs, they are actually not so. In this way, I came to know that what we may call real crabs have actually eight legs, four on each side — certainly, putting aside their pincers. This differs from crab-like crustaceans which, although similar to crabs in appearance, have six legs, three in each side. …

About

Jesús Vila

Scholar, Education Consultant, Social Projects Developer, Branding Consultant.

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