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Crayfish, sometimes called crawfish, crawdads, mudbugs, or yabbies, are fresh-water crustaceans (decapoda[?]) resembling small lobsters, to which they are closely related. They have five pairs of legs with the front pair having a set of claws. They are found in most bodies of fresh water that do not freeze to the bottom, and which have shelter against predators. Some crayfish have been found living as much as 3 m (10 feet) underground.

The term is also applied to certain marine species which are more closely allied to the lobsters than to true crayfishes.

In the United States, Cambarus[?] is a common genus of crayfish east of the Rocky Mountains, while Astacus[?] is more common to the west.

Crayfish are eaten in Europe, but they are perhaps most popular in Louisiana, where the standard culinary term is crawfish, crawdad, or mudbug. They are also served in various Cajun dishes in restaurants around the United States. They are usually prepared like lobster, except many more are put into each pot to boil. They may also be fried. There are also specific preparations for crawfish in Cajun food, the best-known of which are crawfish étouffée and crawfish beignets.

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