Dungeness Crab aka Cancer Magister
The Dungeness crab, also known as “Cancer Magister” is one of thousands of species of crabs found in abundance in the North American coastlines. The Dungeness crab is named after a port in Washington, respectively called “Dungeness”. These Dungeness crabs are measured by their shell commonly called their carapace. The crab’s carapace can reach eight inches long from left to right.
Dungeness crab Stats
Scientific name: Metacarcinus magister (formerly known as Cancer Magister)
Region: Found in abundance in the coastlines of North America.
About the Dungeness crab.
The average Dungeness crab is typically a dark to light shade of brown in color. These crabs, like all other crabs, have a pair of pincer claws and 4 pairs of legs to scurry about in the water. The claws are the scavenging tools that the crabs use to find their next meal. The claws also work as their main weapon against any form of danger. The Dungeness crab, in the sight of danger, often raises their claws in defense and will pinch anything that comes close. The Dungeness crab has very poor rear view vision and are not very mobile so any predator can come from behind and take the crab by surprise.
The crab does not walk forward and backward like most other aquatic life forms but instead, walks from side to side. The design of their body and leg structure allows the crab maximum mobility to travel from under one rock to another while they look for their next meal.
These Dungeness crabs are not great hunters. They are known as scavengers often finding their meals from dead carcases and soft seaweed. Their strong claws are mainly used to rip apart flesh and fend off predation. They can even bury themselves in the sand if threatened.
Eating Dungeness crab.
Dungeness crab is arguably the most popular consumed crab in North America and most of Asia. Dungeness crabs are loved for their sweet and tender flesh. Along with fish and other seafood delicacies, Dungeness crabs can be found in abundance in restaurants all over the world. Because of their popularity, these Dungeness crabs command an above average price per pound at about seven to ten dollars for jumbo sized crabs.
The Dungeness crab is part of the Crustacean family which means they have a tough exo-skeleton to get through before their sweet flesh is exposed. Because of this and their strong claws, crabs are not the easiest prey on the aquatic floor. For most restaurants, tools such as a butcher’s cleaver are used to chop up the crab appendages before cooking. The most common and simplest way for preparing crabs is to boil them for twenty minutes from the waters boiling point. When the dungeness crab looses their brown coloration and turns bright red, the flesh should be cooked enough for human consumption. After the crab has cooled, a crab cracker or small kitchen mallets are used to break apart the exo-skeleton to get through to the flesh. Dungeness crabs are high in calories and should not be consumed in abundance.