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Dungeness Crab Video Stock Footage
The carapace widths of mature Dungeness crabs may reach 25 centimetres (9.8 in) in some areas off the coast of Washington, but are typically under 20 cm (7.9 in). They are a popular delicacy, and are the most commercially important crab in the Pacific Northwest, as well as the western states generally. The annual Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival is held in Port Angeles, Washington each October. Dungeness crabs have a wide, long, hard shell, which they must periodically moult to grow this process is called ecdysis. They have five pairs of legs, which are similarly armoured, the foremost pair of which ends in claws the crab uses both as defense and to tear apart large food items. The crab uses its smaller appendages to pass the food particles into its mouth. Once inside the crab's stomach, food is further digested by the "gastric mill", a collection of tooth-like structures. M. magister prefers to eat clams, other crustaceans and small fish, but is also an effective scavenger. Dungeness crabs can bury themselves completely in the sand if threatened.
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