What Is It?

By MDC | November 1, 2023
From Xplor: November/December 2023
  • I hide under rocks all day.
  • At night, I crawl out and play.
  • I raise pincers as a warning display.
  • But I’d rather just swim away.

Long-Pincered Crayfish

Crayfish are crustaceans (crus-tay-she-uhns), closely related to shrimp, crabs, and lobsters. Like their saltwater cousins, they have a hard shell and claws called pincers. To escape danger, crayfish flip their tails under their bodies to swim backward. Missouri is home to 38 kinds of crayfish. They’re found throughout the state, but the largest variety live in Ozark streams. Most hide among rocks during the day and crawl out at night to look for plants and animals to eat.

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This Issue's Staff

Artist – Matt Byrde
Photographer – Noppadol Paothong
Photographer – David Stonner
Designer – Marci Porter
Designer – Les Fortenberry
Art Director – Cliff White
Editor – Matt Seek
Subscriptions – Marcia Hale
Magazine Manager – Stephanie Thurber