Nature really likes crabs and keeps trying to evolve more of them.

Carcinisation is the name of a process of convergent evolution, in which crustaceans evolve into crab-like forms. In decapod crustatceans, there have been at least 5 distinct times when crab-like animals have evolved.

Coconut crabs, king crabs, and hermit crabs are not types of true crab, and are only distantly related.

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@InvaderXan I learn so much from the things you post. They're always super interesting too. Thank you.

@InvaderXan crabs are like "this is the ideal body shape. you may not like it, but this is what peak performance looks like."

@InvaderXan now I'm curious as to how horseshoe crabs fit into this. I think they're much older?

@bouncinglime They are, yes. They're also arachnids, more closely related to spiders.

I think carcinisation refers specifically to decapod crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, shrimp, etc) but there are certainly some crab-like animals among the insects and arachnids too!

@InvaderXan ah! I knew there would be some sort of distinction for them. But I just love horseshoe crabs so much and had to bring them up. ^_^

hmmm maybe a custom emoji is needed...

@InvaderXan @bouncinglime Probably relevant, and geeky fun to boot:
Haven't read this in full yet but it might even be suggesting that insects evolved out of a 10-legged common ancestor with decapods, not sure how that squares with molecular evidence.
Pretty cool that things keep converging back on that seemingly weird shape.

@InvaderXan all life will become crabs

carcinization is inevitable

embrace the carapace

@Cobalt @InvaderXan In the grim future of hello kitty there are only crabs

@InvaderXan I remember hearing about this before, it's super interesting. Must just be a real damn comfy niche to fill.

Do you know somewhere I can read more about convergent evolution?

@RedFuture I guess it's just that crab-shaped animals are especially good at what they do!

Convergent evolution... I can't think of any good authors offhand, but the Wikipedia articles about this are actually pretty good!

@InvaderXan That image instantly reminded me of the song Crab Rave :bloblul:

πŸ™Žβ€β™‚οΈ humans: "We are the pinaccle of evolution. This world is all about us."

🌍 nature: "make moar crabs"

πŸ¦€ πŸ¦€ πŸ¦€ πŸ¦€ :blobnervous: πŸ¦€ πŸ¦€ πŸ¦€ πŸ¦€ πŸ¦€ πŸ¦€ πŸ¦€

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