Crab Instructional Resources

The following is a list of some great sources of information on crabs. Students should be able to locate more through online searching. Also, at the bottom you will find a glossary of crab terms used in the student activities.

go to Activity #1>>>>
Crab Chronicles


Underwater World: Fish and Aquatic Life

Underwater World: Dungeness Crab

Alaska Department of Fish and Game: ADF&G Wildlife Notebook Series

Alaska Department of Fish & Game: Dungeness Crab

Oregon Dungeness Crab Information

The South Coast Oregon Directory Recreation Guide: Dungeness Crab Facts

Species Profiles: Life Histories and Environmental Requirements of Coastal Fishes and Invertebrates (Pacific Southwest): Life History, pages 4-8

"Living on the edge: distribution of Dungeness crab Cancer magister in a recently deglaciated fjord”, Taggart, S.J., et al, Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol. 246: 241-252

Closure of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve to Commercial Fishing of Dungeness Crabs

Alaska State Legislature: Media Advisory from the Senate Majority

Glacier Bay Ecosystem GIS: Natural History of the Glacier Bay Ecosystem

Testing the Effectiveness of Marine Reserves: A Multi-Species, Multi-Reserve Experiment

Alaska Oceans Program: Declines in Alaska’s Marinelife

Financial Support for Fishermen Who are Affected by Marine Reserves: Examining the Merits

Commercial Fishing Issues in Glacier Bay Resolved through Legislation

Food Web Information

Food Chains

Food Chains and Webs

Fun with Food Webs (A simple and instructive interactive on food webs)

Scientific Posters

Preparing Professional Scientific Posters

Advice on Designing Scientific Posters



Refers to nonliving objects, substances or process
Plenty, more than enough; large quantities
Any of a large group of simple plants that contain chlorophyll; are not divisible into roots, stems and leaves; do not produce seeds; and include the seaweeds and related freshwater and land plants
Often called Sea Anemones, these attached marine animal have tentacles around a mouth opening, creating a flower-like appearance. The tentacles have stinging cells that capture food.
A very large, diverse group of invertebrates with hard external skeleton and jointed-limbs.; Includes crustaceans, spiders, and insects
Shellfish that attach themselves to about any solid surface
Baseline data
The set of conditions existing at the beginning of a program/project. Results will be measured or assessed against such baseline data
Organisms (plants and animals) that live at or near the bottom of a sea.
The variety of life on our planet, in this case measurable as the variety within species of Dungeness Crabs
Living components of an ecosystem
The sudden appearance of a dense population of phytoplankton resulting from increased reproduction due to favorable conditions
The process of icebergs breaking off from glaciers
Feeding on other individuals of the same species
Hard outer covering or case of certain organisms, such as arthropods and turtles
Carnivores are animals that eat a diet consisting only of meat
The major structural component of arthropod exoskeletons
Of or related to chitin
The green pigment of plants that captures the energy from sunlight necessary for photosynthesis
Drawn together; a narrow region lying between larger adjacent regions
Critical Nursery Habitat
An area, declared essential for the survival of a protected species under the authority of the Endangered Species Act, where the young of marine species grow up;
A group of mainly aquatic animals including crabs, shrimps, and barnacles, with hard outer skeletons or shells, and paired, jointed, limbs
Indicating that glaciers have retreated from the area
Dominant species
The most abundant, prevalent, or influential species in a given area
Ecological Niche
The way a species makes its living; where it lives, what it consumes, and how it avoids consumption by predators or displacement by other species
Flowering marine plant that grows on intertidal and shallow subtidal sand or mudflats
Marine eel-like mostly bottom-dwelling fishes of northern seas
Small bay or any small semi-enclosed coastal water body whose opening to a larger body of water is restricted
Of or pertaining to an inlet or arm of the sea, especially the wide mouth of a river, where the tide meets the current
An external protective or supportive covering of many invertebrates, including crabs
To thrust, force or press out, as in "extrude" eggs
The occupation or industry of catching, processing and selling fish and shellfish; an area where fish or shellfish are caught
A glaciated valley flooded by the sea to form a long, narrow, steep-walled inlet, such as Glacier Bay on the SE Alaska coastline
To wander or rove in search of food;
  1. The place occupied by an organism, population or community; it is the physical part of the community structure in which an organism finds its home, and includes the sum total of all the environmental conditions present in the specific place occupied by an organism. Often, a habitat is defined to include a whole community of organisms.
  2. The home to a particular organism, where the species will attempt to be as adaptive as possible to that particular habitat, in what is deemed their ecological niche
Parts of the coastline that extend out into the sea formed of resistant (harder) rock. They help protect the bay which forms between them from wave attack.
An marine animal, related to anemones, that has a fleshy central stalk topped by a ring of tentacles used for catching food
  1. A supposition that appears to explain a group of phenomena and is advanced as a basis for further investigation; a proposition that is subject to proof or to an experimental or statistical test
  2. A proposal intended to explain certain facts or observations
Intertidal zone
A zone of transition extending from areas of high tide, that are routinely exposed to air and sunlight, to areas of low tide that are rarely exposed; plants and animals that inhabit this area have adapted to the extreme variability of conditions in and out of the water.
An animal with no backbone or spinal column
The early, immature form of any animal when more or less of a metamorphosis takes place, before the assumption of the mature shape
Life cycle or life stage
A series of stages through which an organism passes between recurrences of a primary stage
Limiting Factors
Chemical or physical factors that limit the existence, growth, abundance, or distribution of an organism
Any one of brown algae or seaweed, often growing in oceanic "forests"; When kelp grows in large groups they are called kelp forests.
Marine snow
The remains of plants and animals that drift down from the sunlit surface waters of the ocean to the depths
Mean Low Water
The average level of low water at a place over a 19-year period
A transitional phase between the planktonic zoeas and the benthic crab phase, megalops can swim in the water column and crawl around the riverbed. The abdomen is extended giving the megalop a lobster-like appearance.
  1. The marked and rapid transformation of a larva into an adult that occurs in some animals.
  2. The organic processes (in a cell or organism) that are necessary for life.
A set of procedures or methods used to conduct research
Process of certain animals' development that involves shedding its exoskeleton and producing a new exoskeleton for the life stage
A study of the configuration or the structure of animals and plants
Mud flats
A wide, flat, muddy area exposed at low tide, in intertidal areas
Negative correlation
As one variable increases, the other decreases
Proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals provided by food and necessary for growth and the maintenance of life
The study of oceans
A living thing
Organisms that use sunlight as an energy source to make carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water
Movement or growth of part of an organism towards (positive phototropism) or away from (negative phototropism) a source of light, without overall movement of the whole organism
Small, often microscopic, plants (mainly algae) floating or drifting in bodies of fresh or salt water
Of or relating to plankton
Having more than one mate at a time
Positive correlation
As one variable increases, so does the other
The act of preying by a predator that kills and eats the prey
Recruitment Event
A period during which additions to a population are made, either through birth or migration
The degree of saltiness of a given substance such as the ocean
The policy of inferring the behavior of a whole batch by studying a fraction of it
A small or large group of fish swimming together; Fish can work together to trap prey or protect themselves from predators
Erosion caused by rapid flow of water
Piles of rock debris on the ocean bottom that are the remains of the terminal moraines left behind by glaciers that paused during their retreat
A flowering grasslike herbaceous plant that produces one seed leaf; Sedges are often found in wet places with poor soil. They have unjointed stems that are usually solid and often triangular in cross section.
Materials that sink to the bottom of a body of water or materials that are deposited by wind, water, or glaciers
Sedimentation rate
The process by which suspended particles in water settle to the bottom
The various people who are affected by or have an interest in the establishment of a marine protected area or any other issue
Beneath the surface of the sea
Marine Crest
A high point on a surface, such as piles of rock left by receding glaciers
Surface on which a plant or animal grows or is attached
The portion of a tidal-flat environment that lies below the level of mean low water for spring tides; normally, it is covered by water at all stages of the tide
  1. A characteristic of a process or state that can be maintained indefinitely
  2. The ability of an ecosystem to maintain ecological processes and functions, biological diversity, and productivity over time
Suspended particles
Particles such as mud or silt supported or kept from sinking or falling by buoyancy and without apparent attachment
Terminal moraines
A large ridge of rock debris dumped at the end of a glacier as it retreats. Moraines are formed of unsorted boulders, sand, gravel and clay.
Living on land
Tidal Extreme
The lowest point of low tide and highest point of high tide
Tide rip
A stretch of turbulent water in a river or the sea caused by one current flowing into or across another current
Tidewater Glacier
Glaciers that flow into the sea
Harmful; poisonous
Tube worm is a name applied to several groups of marine worms that secrete attached tubes that they inhabit, emerging only to filter feed.
A cloudy condition in water due to suspended silt or organic matter
Rapid movement of particles in many directions as well as the general direction of the overall current
The movement of nutrient rich waters from the bottom of the ocean to the surface
Water Column Stability
A water column is a vertical area of sea water stretching from the ocean surface to just above the ocean floor; It is stable when it remains consistent and steady, rather than turbulent.
A particular larval stage of certain crabs
Small, often microscopic, animals (such as protozoans) floating, drifting or weakly swimming in bodies of fresh or salt water


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