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Crayfish




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Crayfish
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Crustacea
Subclass: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Suborder: Pleocyemata
Infraorder: Astacidea
Superfamily: Astacoidea
Latreille, 1802
Parastacoidea
Huxley, 1879
Families

Astacoidea
  Astacidae
  Cambaridae
Parastacoidea
  Parastacidae

Crayfish are crustaceans that are also known as crawdads, crawfish, and freshwater lobsters; they are closely related to lobsters, crabs, and shrimp. There are about 150 crayfish species in North America, and over 540 species worldwide.

Habitat

Crayfish live in streams, rivers, swamps, ponds, and other freshwater habitats. Most crayfish are strictly aquatic but some live in semi-aquatic environments. The semi-aquatic crayfish burrow into the soil to get to water (so that they can breathe).

Diet

Crayfish are omnivores; they eat plants, animals, and decaying organisms. They are nocturnal (most active at night) and eat fish, shrimp, water plants, worms, insects, snails, and plankton. Larval crayfish are very tiny; they eat plankton.