Ecdysis can be unlocked when your crab have reached level 650. Whenever you perform ecdysis, you will lose ALL of your CURRENT progress except DNA, mutations and gems. But, you will receive DNA that can be used to obtain powerful mutations. Mutations will improve your crabs drastically and will make your progress easier. Everytime you perform ecdysis, your Ecdysis level will be increased by one level.
Although your current progress will be reset and you will start from the beginning again (0 m, 0 money, 0 progress), your lifetime progress and your pearls won't be reset.
With the Jade Tipped Pincers mutation, you will start off at your initial distance (depending on the mutation level) while gaining some gold after performing Ecdysis.
Super Ecdysis Edit
For a price of 500 pearls, the Super Ecdysis allows you to gain all the benefits of the Ecdysis without having to reset all your progress. After a Super Ecdysis you will also be able to Ecdysis again.