LEWIS HOUGHTON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY LEWIS HOUGHTON / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Velvet Crab are an unusual type of so called "swimming crab", their last pair of legs are flattened to facilitate swimming. They rarely grow to more than 10cm across. Their common name comes from their purple colour and the soft hairs covering their shell, giving them a velvety texture. They are widely distributed in north-west Europe, found on rocky bottoms from the shoreline to a depth of about 50 metres. They feed on seaweeds, mollusks and other crustaceans such as barnacles.
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