Cracking open the crustacean!

What has two pairs of antennae and no backbone? A crustacean of course! This family of invertebrates includes well-known hard-shelled critters like crabs, lobsters and prawns.

​Mud crabs are one of the coolest crustaceans. They are mostly found in Gladstone’s intertidal areas where they live in burrows in the mud, emerging at night to look for food using their 360-degree vision! They are also very dangerous (to fingers and toes) if they get hold of you as their powerful claws will stay jammed shut even if separated from their bodies — check out the size of them in the picture below!

Prawns are also some of the most popular crustaceans found on Australian plates from the waters of Gladstone — and none are more sought after than the giant tiger prawn (shown in the picture below).

Shellshocking facts & figures

Hard as nails!​

A prawn’s shell is made of protein, calcium carbonate and chitin, which is similar to the protein in human hair and nails.

​Out with the old, in with the new…

Crabs don’t grow constantly, they shed (or moult) their shell when they grow too big for it.

​Spooky red eyes!

​Prawns eyes glow ruby red in artificial light!