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Q & A

Q. Why do crabs walk sideways?

A. Most crabs usually stroll on the beach by walking sideways. But crabs can also walk forward, backward and diagonally.

Because crabs have stiff, jointed legs, they move faster and easier walking sideways, says 3-2-1 Contact magazine. Walking sideways means that one leg never moves into the path of another. So a crab is also less likely to trip over its feet. That's important when you're keeping track of four pairs of walking legs, plus a set of claws!

A crab walking sideways pulls itself along with one set of legs and pushes with the other. Pairs of legs on opposite sides work together to carry the crab along. But that doesn't mean it's a slowpoke. A ghost crab can scoot sideways 5 feet in just one second. It uses only two pairs at top speed.