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Crustaceans

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All About Lobsters
The Maine, or American, lobster is a crustacean with two strong claws: a big-toothed crusher claw for pulverizing shells and a finer-edged ripper claw resembling a steak knife, for tearing soft flesh. Website includes biological remarks, fisheries, economics, history of exploitation, and comparison with other lobsters. Also features educational activities and links to external sites.
Grade Level: Intermediate elementary, Middle school, High school

Blue Crabs in the Chesapeake
Classroom unit and data activity focusing on juvenile and adult blue crab distribution in the Chesapeake Bay. Includes background on crab biology, anatomy, life cycle, and fisheries. Authentic data tables provided for in-class analysis, discussion questions guide inquiry.
Grade Level: Middle school, High school

Hatch to Catch
Interactive computer activity in which students guide a cohort of lobster larvae from hatch to harvest by picking hatching region and survival conditions, them compare their success with others. Lesson contains: teacher guide; background; data tracking sheet; discussion questions online maps; answer sheet upon request. Based on research by Bigelow Lab and Dartmouth College identifying hatching site, current direction and speed, temperature, seafloor type as key to lobster success. Lessons aligned to teaching standard. NSTA SciLinks selected site.
Grade Level: Intermediate elementary, Middle school

Blue Crab Archive
This easy to navigate and well-written site is packed with information and excellent photos about the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) and its fishery. Biology section covers: species profile, anatomy, life cycle, reproduction, larval development, life cycle and more. Industry and trade section includes recipes and tips for catching or buying hard and soft shell crabs, and fishery information. Also offers news, discussion forum, links, a glossary, and reference lists.
Grade Level: General public, Middle school, High school

Lobster Conservancy
Organization brings Gulf of Maine fishermen, scientists, volunteers together to sustain the lobster fishery. Lobster Life Studies Center and programs educate the public about the biology and importance of American lobster (Homaris americanus), conduct research, monitoring populations, recruitment and survival. Detailed profile with diagrams covers lobster classification, anatomy, growth, physiology, life cycle, distribution, behavior, and fisheries. Table lists life history stage, environmental threats, regulations providing protection. Question/answer feature posts scientists' responses to questions.
Grade Level: General public, Intermediate elementary, Middle school

Bridge DATA - The Blue Crab's Chesapeake Journey
Determine the areas of the Chesapeake Bay that are being used by blue crabs during different life stages using data from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) trawl survey.
Grade Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division

Barnacles
Introduction to barnacle classification, anatomy, biology, reproduction and life cycle. Excellent color graphics. Also includes: profiles for six Australian species; diagram of barnacles in intertidal habitats; and discussion of barnacles as intertidal indicator species. Accessible and accurate.
Grade Level: General public, Intermediate elementary, Middle school, High school

Fiddler Crabs
Short introduction to fiddler crabs (Genus Uca), their worldwide distribution, biology, ecology and systematics. Profiles of individual species include: zoological classification, morphology, geographical range with maps, scientific name (where known) and synonyms, references. Supporting videos (sorted by activity) and still photos of crabs in their habitat.
Grade Level: General public, Middle school, High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division


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Virginia Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
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