Many animals include crabs as part of their diet. Besides humans, large ocean dwellers such as the octopus, birds such as the seagull and marine mammals such as the seal all feast on crustaceans, including crabs. Even large carnivores such as polar bears have been known to eat crabs, although they prefer more substantial fare, like the seals that eat the crabs.
The Alaskan king crab in particular has six distinct predators. Humans, of course, belong on this list. Halibut, Pacific cod, sea otters, octopi and other types of crab also feed on Alaskan king crab.
The greatest predator to crabs are fish. For example, crabs have been found to make up a whopping 90% of the barred surfperch’s diet, a fish that lives in the surf zone of the oceans. In addition to fish, shorebirds and waterbirds also eat crabs as part of their diets. These include sandpipers, blackbellied plovers, godwits, and the surf scoter. Sea otters and humans are also well-known mammalian predators of crabs. Sand crabs have been known to carry parasites, which can be transferred to and end up killing the crab predator in the end.
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