Everything to Learn About Alaskan King Crab

For a few years, the Alaskan King Crab vanished from the market, leaving seafood lovers longing for its succulent taste and impressive size. This hiatus was due to strict regulations aimed at preserving the population and ensuring sustainable fishing practices. Now, as the majestic King Crab makes its triumphant return, enthusiasts have the opportunity to rediscover its unmatched flavor and indulge in a delicacy revered for its rich, sweet meat. 

10 Fun Facts About Alaskan King Crab

Alaskan king crabs are marvelous to look at, enormous in size, and provide exceptional quality meat. With over 120 different species of crabs, the king crab is one of the most desired crustaceans—and for good reason! Their sweet, tender meat is decadent, luxurious, and surprisingly healthy. Let's look at 10 fun facts about Alaskan king crabs to share with friends, and when you're done, stop by Billy's Stone Crab to order a cluster of Alaskan king crabs today.

Alaskan King Crab Facts

Here are 10 fun facts about Alaskan king crabs that you probably didn't know.

1. There are 3 Main Types of King Crab

Although there are over 120 different species of king crabs, three are valued most. Alaskan fishermen focus on catching blue, golden, and red king crabs because they're the most highly sought-after species.

2. They're a Delicious and Healthy Food Choice

It's no secret that the meat from an Alaskan king crab is tender, juicy, and delicious, but did you know it's also healthy? Crab meat is a great source of protein and it's naturally a low-fat and low-calorie option.

3. Female King Crabs have 45,000 to 500,000 eggs each year!

Although this fact is impressive on its own, they also carry their embryos for about a year at a time. They do this by clutching the eggs under her tail flap until they're ready to hatch. When embryos hatch, they are called larvae. They swim around and feed on plankton for months until they're big enough to settle on the ocean floor. At this point, they look like crabs and cannot swim anymore, but they're still very, very small.

4. They Live in Cold Waters

So, where do king crabs come from? They live in cold waters in the North Pacific Ocean and nearby seas. You can find them in the Bering Sea, the Gulf of Alaska, the Sea of Okhotsk, off the coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, and the Sea of Japan. They walk along the bottom of the ocean floor and continue to mature and reproduce for decades. 

5. They Eat a Variety of Foods

So, what do king crabs eat? They prefer to eat meat, and they mostly feed on barnacles, clams, mussels, sand dollars, sea urchins, snails, starfish, and even other crabs. What they eat is dependent on their age and at what depth of the ocean they're at.

6. They Bleed Blue

Crabs have hemocyanin in their blood, which contains a copper pigment. When they bleed and the blood is oxygenated, it turns blue! The hemocyanin component of their blood is what allows Alaskan king crabs to survive in low-pressure environments.

7. They Have Weird, But Effective Defense Strategies

Sometimes, king crabs form pods, which are groups of crabs standing on top of one another. Stacking themselves, they look tall and mighty, keeping predators at bay. Sometimes, these pods can be composed of thousands of king crabs.

8. Molting is Normal for Development

King crabs can live for decades, and they continue to grow as they age. They usually weigh between 6 and 10 pounds, but the biggest Alaskan king crab weighed at a whopping 24 pounds. Their shells are made from calcium, much like our bones, and during the first few years of life, they molt their shell several times. Once females reach sexual maturity at age four or five, they molt again to reproduce. 

9. They're Solo Travelers

Alaskan king crabs like being alone, and walking is their favorite form of exercise. In fact, they can travel up to a mile per day where king crabs live, at the bottom of the ocean. They continue to do this for decades. You may be wondering, "How long do king crabs live?" On average, they live an impressive 20 to 30 years.

10. Fish Think They're Delicious

Humans know how decadent Alaskan king crab can be, but the secret's out in the ocean, too. Halibut, octopuses, sea otters, and Pacific cod eat king crabs when possible. Some species of crabs will also feast on them.

Visit Billy's Stone Crab Today!

Learning about Alaskan king crab is fun, but it's sure to make you hungry. If you're ready for tender, delicious crab meat cooked to perfection, visit Billy's Stone Crab today. We'll make sure you satisfy your craving for quality Alaskan king crab, and we'll make sure it's paired with the perfect cocktail. We look forward to serving you!

Image Credit: MERCURY studio / Shutterstock