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Old 30 April 2009, 03:37 AM
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Goldfish King crabs are spiders

Comment: Are king crabs really a type of spider?

Living in the Seattle area, I've often been told that king crabs are
really a type of spider and not related to non-king edible crabs (snow
crabs?). But the flavor is similar enough that I find it hard to believe.

I did a little searching and found conflicting information. One place said
that only horsehoe crabs, which are sometimes also called king crabs, are
related to spiders, and cautioned against confusing horseshoe crabs with
Alaskan king crabs. Horseshoe crabs look completely different from what
I've always known as king crabs.

But many other places said that Alaskan king crabs, and other
similar-looking king crabs, are a type of spider and not related to other
crabs.

What's the truth? I suspect that it started out as a confusion between
horshoe crabs and Alaskan king crabs, then took on a life of its own
because it's such an unsettling story, to think that those huge, delicious
king crabs are -- blech! -- spiders. Am I right?
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  #2  
Old 30 April 2009, 05:36 AM
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Spider:
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • (unranked): Arachnomorpha
  • Class: Arachnida

King crab:
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Crustacea
  • Class: Malacostraca
  • Order: Decapoda
  • Infraorder: Anomura
  • Superfamily: Paguroidea
  • Family: Lithodidae

So, they're both anthropodes, but that's it.

Don Enrico
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  #3  
Old 30 April 2009, 01:16 PM
purpleiguana purpleiguana is offline
 
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Downright tasty spiders!

According to Alton Brown, lobsters are most closely related to cockroaches, so why shouldn't crabs be most closely related to spiders? I'm no biologist, but I can reasonably be sure it's not entirely true. Spiders have 8 legs, after all, and crabs have 10. All the same, I've always referred to crabs and lobsters and shrimp as "sea bugs." It makes for fun.
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Old 30 April 2009, 02:00 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purpleiguana View Post
Downright tasty spiders!

According to Alton Brown, lobsters are most closely related to cockroaches, so why shouldn't crabs be most closely related to spiders? I'm no biologist, but I can reasonably be sure it's not entirely true. Spiders have 8 legs, after all, and crabs have 10. All the same, I've always referred to crabs and lobsters and shrimp as "sea bugs." It makes for fun.
I am not familiar with this 'Alton Brown', but I can tell right now that s/he is an idiot or a liar. Cockroaches are insects; lobsters are crustaceans. While both are arthropods, as Don Enrico's info shows, so are spiders and king crabs. For that matter, so are barnacles. In evolutionary time and divergence, lobsters are about as close to cockroaches as we are to sea cucumbers (which are also chordata).
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Old 30 April 2009, 03:01 PM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
... we are to sea cucumbers (which are also chordata).
Close. Sea cucumbers are echinoderms, not chordates, but both are deuterostomes, so the two phyla are probably more related to each other more than either are to arthropods or other protostomes.

Nick
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Old 30 April 2009, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Nick Theodorakis View Post
Close. Sea cucumbers are echinoderms, not chordates, but both are deuterostomes, so the two phyla are probably more related to each other more than either are to arthropods or other protostomes.

Nick
I have read books in which they were classed as chordata, but I know there has been some fluidity in the nomenclature and inclusions, as biologists debate the precise significance of various features.
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Old 30 April 2009, 03:22 PM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
I have read books in which they were classed as chordata, but I know there has been some fluidity in the nomenclature and inclusions, as biologists debate the precise significance of various features.
I've never heard of sea cucumbers (class Holothuroidea) ever being classed as anything other than echinoderm (although I obviously haven't read every textbook out there), but perhaps the term "sea cucumber" might have been applied to other animals, such as a hemichordate like the acorn worm.

Nick
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Old 30 April 2009, 03:26 PM
purpleiguana purpleiguana is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
I am not familiar with this 'Alton Brown', but I can tell right now that s/he is an idiot or a liar. Cockroaches are insects; lobsters are crustaceans. While both are arthropods, as Don Enrico's info shows, so are spiders and king crabs. For that matter, so are barnacles. In evolutionary time and divergence, lobsters are about as close to cockroaches as we are to sea cucumbers (which are also chordata).
Good Eats

At 5:30.
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  #9  
Old 30 April 2009, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Theodorakis View Post
I've never heard of sea cucumbers (class Holothuroidea) ever being classed as anything other than echinoderm (although I obviously haven't read every textbook out there), but perhaps the term "sea cucumber" might have been applied to other animals, such as a hemichordate like the acorn worm.

Nick
I may have gotten my sea-whatevers confused, but the creature I am talking about has a free-swimming larval stage with a distinctive notochord, and hence has been thought to be very similar ( at least in that regard) to the ancestor of the chordates.
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Old 30 April 2009, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
I may have gotten my sea-whatevers confused, but the creature I am talking about has a free-swimming larval stage with a distinctive notochord, and hence has been thought to be very similar ( at least in that regard) to the ancestor of the chordates.
I think you are referring to Tunicates or 'sea squirts'.
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Old 30 April 2009, 04:50 PM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
I may have gotten my sea-whatevers confused, but the creature I am talking about has a free-swimming larval stage with a distinctive notochord, and hence has been thought to be very similar ( at least in that regard) to the ancestor of the chordates.
Tunicates, perhaps? Most phylogenists do classify them with the chordates these days, but in the past there might have been some confusion.

The other type of primitive chordates include the lancelets, or Amphioxus:

Quote:
It's a long way from Amphioxus
It's a long way to us,
It's a long way from Amphioxus
To the meanest human cuss.
Well, it's good-bye to fins and gill slits,
And it's welcome lungs and hair,
It's a long, long way from Amphioxus
But we all came from there.
(My sister taught me that chorus back in the 60's or early 70's)

Nick
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  #12  
Old 30 April 2009, 04:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
I am not familiar with this 'Alton Brown', but I can tell right now that s/he is an idiot or a liar. Cockroaches are insects; lobsters are crustaceans. While both are arthropods, as Don Enrico's info shows, so are spiders and king crabs. For that matter, so are barnacles. In evolutionary time and divergence, lobsters are about as close to cockroaches as we are to sea cucumbers (which are also chordata).
Give Alton a break! While he played fast and loose, he didn't say anything incorrect. Here is the transcript:

Quote:
Now way over here on the other branch, we find phylum arthropoid subphylum crustacean and the lobster**. What's interesting is that just next door in subphylum uniramia, we've got ... [steps on a cockroach¤.] Actually, a lobster brain's more like a grasshopper but then we really do have to use the term "brain" very, very loosely. The point is a lobster is a bug. And if you can stomp a roach or smush a spider just for crossing your path, you shouldn't get too teary eyed about sending a lobster to sleep with the fishes, especially if you're going to eat it. But, that doesn't mean you shouldn't opt for a humane method. And morbid or not it does seem to be a subject that a lot of people have strong opinions on.
While referring to a lobster as a 'bug' is wrong, it is commonly accepted.
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Old 30 April 2009, 06:39 PM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeper of the Mad Bunnies View Post
Give Alton a break! While he played fast and loose, he didn't say anything incorrect. Here is the transcript:



While referring to a lobster as a 'bug' is wrong, it is commonly accepted.
Even as a biologist, I won't nitpick the term "bug" because it's a common word with casual useage and even more formally can mean anything from "true bugs (order Hemiptera)" to insects, to air-breathing arthropods of several kinds, and up.

Similarly, arguing about whether something like a tomato is a fruit or vegetable is pointless, because even though botanists have narrowed the use of the term "fruit," it was a common english word with a different meaning before botanists got hold of it.

Nick
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Old 30 April 2009, 06:48 PM
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Okay, it must have been tunicates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keeper of the Mad Bunnies View Post
Give Alton a break! While he played fast and loose, he didn't say anything incorrect. Here is the transcript:



While referring to a lobster as a 'bug' is wrong, it is commonly accepted.
I recognize that lobsters and insects are related, distantly. But the post I responded to said that Brown's claim was that lobsters and cockroaches were 'most closely related.' This is very much untrue. Closer to roaches than to snails or fish, but really not all that close, and certainly there are MUCH closer relatives to lobsters than any insects.
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  #15  
Old 30 April 2009, 07:15 PM
purpleiguana purpleiguana is offline
 
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"Most closely related" were my words, not AB's. His words were "right next door."
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Old 30 April 2009, 07:34 PM
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They better not be spiders otherwise I'd have to add king crabs to the list of things I'm afraid of.
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  #17  
Old 30 April 2009, 08:12 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by purpleiguana View Post
"Most closely related" were my words, not AB's. His words were "right next door."
I see that now, from the transcript. Still, even his description is a gross mischaracterization.
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  #18  
Old 30 April 2009, 11:01 PM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Dactyl View Post
They better not be spiders otherwise I'd have to add king crabs to the list of things I'm afraid of.
They're not scary enough already?



Red King Crab


Nick
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  #19  
Old 30 April 2009, 11:14 PM
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They're not scary enough already?

Scarily delicious...
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  #20  
Old 30 April 2009, 11:24 PM
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Hello Kitty

Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
I see that now, from the transcript. Still, even his description is a gross mischaracterization.
Alton lives in Marietta, so you can just go over and 'splain it to him.

But if you hurt him, I will find you; so please don't 'splain him too hard.

Four Kitties
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