Our animals

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Northern lakes and seas

The ocean

Tropical rivers and lakes

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The Pond

The lake

The wide creek

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Select a species to read more


Water flea

Water flea

European perch

European perch

Alpine bullhead

Alpine bullhead

Three-spined stickleback

Three-spined stickleback

Swan mussel

Swan mussel

Goldfish

Goldfish

Oriental carp

Oriental carp

Belica

Belica

European crayfish

European crayfish

Bitterling

Bitterling

Gudgeon

Gudgeon

European crayfish

European crayfish

Facts

LatinAstacus astacus
Size16 cm
FoodDead animals and plant matter
HabitatAt the bottom of lakes and ponds
IUCN

Vulnerable

The European crayfish is officially an endangered species because it has been wiped out in several locations by crayfish plague. They become infected with the disease from the signal crayfish which was introduced from North America and which has eradicated the European crayfish in a number of areas.

LocationEurope and northern Africa
Map

Denmark’s largest freshwater crayfish

The European crayfish is the largest crayfish in the Danish lakes. It is extremely selective about where it lives and can only be found in lakes that are unpolluted and rich in oxygen.

Meet a European crayfish

If you want to see a crayfish in the wild, you have to stay awake, because they are only seen at night. The European crayfish hides among the rocks all day and only comes out to hunt after dark.

Eats its own shell

The European crayfish can live to be up to 15 years old. As it grows, it discards its old shell and creates a new one that is bigger. Crayfish shells are made from calcium. The European crayfish eats its old shell in order to reuse the calcium to create the new shell.

Changes colour when cooked

In nature, the European crayfish is dark in colour, but it turns red when cooked. This is because only the red colour is left in the shell after boiling, while the blue, green and yellow colours get boiled away.


Sturgeon

Danish stream

Danish lake

Herrings in the Sound

Boulder reef in the Sound

Stone reefs and jellyfish

Sandy bottom

Eelgrass in the Sound

Faroese bird cliff

Seaotter

Pacific octopus

Japanese spider crab

American lobster