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Friday, February 12, 2010

Biggest crab in Britain claws its way to Birmingham

THE biggest crab ever seen in Britain has arrived at Birmingham’s National Sea Life.

A Japanese Spider Crab with a two-metre claw span, he has been christened ‘Crabzilla’.

“It is rumoured these crabs can grow as big as four metres,” said curator Graham Burrows, “big enough to straddle a car.
“Crabzilla certainly lends credence to those claims.”

The colossal crustacean has been flown to the UK from Japan and is ultimately bound for Belgium to take up permanent residence in a specially adapted display tank at a Sea Life centre in Blankenberge.

Having been quarantined in Dorset, however, Sea Life marine experts agreed that UK animal lovers deserved a chance to see him before he crosses the Channel.

The National Sea Life Centre’s open-topped ray tank has the icy cold waters Crabzilla needs, and will be his home until the end of March.

“He will absolutely dwarf the other crabs in there, but he’s not aggressive and they should have nothing to worry about,” said Graham.

The Japanese spider crab, Macrocheira kaempferi, is the largest known member of the ‘arthropod’ family…which includes all invertebrates with jointed limbs.

Crabzilla’s front limbs are his feeding arms, each over five feet long and ending in sizeable claws.

Found in the Pacific off Japan, the giant spider crabs are most common in waters between 200 and 300 metres deep but have been known to live as deep as 800 metres.

A Japanese delicacy when salted and steamed, eating them is however forbidden in the spring, when they lay their eggs.

For pics, click here

1 comment:

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