This chapter explores the various habitats of crabs, noting that they can be found in all kinds of habitats from the shoreline to the deep sea, in marine, estuarine, and freshwater environments, and even on land. Most crabs live in marine and estuarine habitats, while only a few specialized ones (e.g., gecarcinids and land hermit crabs) live in fresh water or on land. More species live in shallow water than in the deep sea. Certain groups—namely the grapsids (shore crabs) and ocypodids (fiddler and ghost crabs)—tend to live in shallow and intertidal areas. Grapsids (with broad fronts, short eyes, and almost square-shaped carapace) are found in many types of shore habitats, including marshes, mangroves, and rocky shores. Some of them can leave the water for many hours at a time. Ocypodids tend to be found only on softer substrates like marshes, mudflats, and beaches.
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