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King crabs are a taxon of crab-like decapod crustaceans chiefly found in cold seas. Because of their large size and the taste of their meat, many species are widely caught and sold as food, the most common being the red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus).
King crabs are generally thought to be derived from hermit crab-like ancestors within the Paguridae, which may explain the asymmetry still found in the adult forms. This ancestry is supported by several anatomical peculiarities which are present only in king crabs and hermit crabs. Although some doubt still exists about this theory, king crabs are the most widely quoted example of carcinisation among the Decapoda. The evidence for this explanation comes from the asymmetry of the king crab's abdomen, which is thought to reflect the asymmetry of hermit crabs, which must fit into a spiral shell.