Stone Crab (Menippe Mercenaria)
Menippe-Greek, meaning force or courage
Mercinaria-Latin, something of value

In order to assure the continued survival of the species: Only one claw may be removed so the crab can defend itself. Egg bearing females are not allowed to be declawed.The crabs are captured in baited traps. No spears or hooks are allowed. Four inches from the first joint to the tip is the minimum legal size, that's about two ounces. A colossal can weigh 25 ounces or more. The large crusher claw can exert extreme pressure. As much as 19000 lbs. per square inch. Although their massive claws serve as deterrents to most predators, fishermen have reported the stone crab falls prey to the octopus. Stone crab season in Florida runs from October 15th to May 15. Stone crabs exhibit carnivorous feeding behavior. Sometimes in traps they resort to cannibalism! The claws make up half the weight of the whole crab, they are removed by carefully grabbing from the rear and twisting. The crab is returned to water and the claw regenerates. It takes between 12 to 24 months to reach legal size again. In 1963 stone crabs cost 30 cents a dozen wholesale.

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