Saturday, August 8, 2020

Crawfish

Crawfish are small, freshwater crustaceans that can be found in many parts of the world, including North and South America, Australia, and Europe. Like all arthropods freshwater crawfish have a multi-layered exoskeleton hardened by calcium salts except around the joints where the integument is soft and flexible.

The body consists of 20 segments, which are divided into three regions: head with the eyes, sensory appendages, mandible and maxillae; thorax with maxillipeds and five pairs of leg-like appendages; and abdomen equipped with pleopods used for swimming and egg-carrying in females.

Freshwater crawfish are found in a wide range of freshwater habitats, from sea level to sub-alpine regions, including lakes, dams, irrigation canals and streams. Freshwater crawfish is found in lentic and lotic freshwater habitats: sluggish streams and lentic habitats, swamps, ditches, sloughs and ponds, etc., especially in vegetation, leaf litter, etc. It avoids streams and ditches with a strong flow, where it is replaced by other species. Freshwater crawfish can be found in most substrate types although deep soft sediment, particularly if it is anoxic (black color and often associated with a sulphur smell), does not hold the same densities of freshwater crawfish as other substrate types.

It exhibits territorial behavior and is aggressive with its own species. It burrows during periods of drought or cold. It is benthic and omnivorous, feeding on insects, larvae, detritus, etc., with a preference for animal matter.

Crawfish are an excellent source of high-quality protein and are low in calories, fat and saturated fat. They also are a good source of vitamin B12, niacin, iron, copper and selenium.
Crawfish

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