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Thread: Crab Brains

  1. #1 Crab Brains 
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    In Japan there is a delicacy known as kani miso which looks fairly horrible and is often translated as "crab brains". I found out later that it is, in fact, a collection of all kinds of innards and not just brains. But I was also told that crabs don't actually have anything that we can call a brain at all.

    Do you know if it is true, that they are not in possession of an actual brain?


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  3. #2  
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    Yes.

    See here for much more detail:

    http://www.biolbull.org/cgi/reprint/183/2/304.pdf

    Also, this was the third hit on a google search of crab brains.


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  4. #3  
    Time Lord
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    Spiders have "mushroom bodies" - dense dead-end neural structures - which are functionally similar to a cerebral cortex. If you freeze it the spider loses memory, maze navigation, etc. The uncanny thing about these mushroom bodies is they appear to package an impossibly disproportionate amount of "thought" into a puny collection of neurons.

    Anyway I'll bet crabs have these quasi-brains as well.



    Kani miso just means crab and miso (soup). But the part of an animal with eyes and mouth attached may be seen as the head (think about it), and since the Japanese "waste not" approach to seafood accepts that part of small species, we call the innards "head innards" or approximate translation "brains". It's not a delicacy - just food. King crab pincers are a delicacy.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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  5. #4  
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    Thanks very much for those replies!
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