Monday, April 23, 2012

Giant Japanese Spider Crab

From: Sarah G.
Sent: April 23, 2012
To: undisclosed recipients
Subject: Fw: Giant Japanese Spider Crab
GOT BUTTER? I'm gonna need a bigger pot. lol

Giant Japanese Spider Crab

The giant Japanese spider crab isn't actually a very big crab, it just seems so big. It has big giant legs, that give you the impression that it's a gigantic sea monster. There are many stories that talk about these giant Japanese spider crab, for example it's been told that this crab feeds itself on the dead bodies from people who died on sea. It's a true story because the Japanese spider crab feeds itself with everything it can find on the bottom of the sea, including dead bodies. It's also been told that these crabs were spotted in the jungles of Japan. When they were spotted by the people of the island, they were shocked to see these gigantic crabs on land. I'm not so sure about this last one, but it could be true.
The Japanese spider crab also known as Macrocheira kaempferi  belongs to the family of the arthropods. Just like I said before these crabs seem huge because of their great leg span, these legs can grow up to 4m. The actual body of the Japanese spider crab can only reach a size of 37 cm with a weight of 20 kg. You could compare them as little sea turtles with big legs and just like sea turtles the life expectancy of these sea creatures is estimated at around 100 years.

Giant Japanese Spider Crab

The characteristics of the spider crab are: it has 8 legs with 2 feeding arms. The male specimen is slightly different from the female specimen, the arms of the male specimen where the pincers of the crab are located, become longer then the legs they use to walk on and as you can see on any picture of the Japanese spider crab the body is mostly red with white spots on his legs. The eyes of the Japanese Spider crab are located on the front, with two little horns between the eyes. These horns become shorter with age. Some spider crabs attach sponges and sea anemones on their shell, just like any other crab to protect them against other predators. The Japanese spider crabs seems big, but it is a very vulnerable creature.

Giant Japanese Spider Crab

The habitat of the Japanese spider crab limits itself to the Pacific side of the Japanese archipelago. The crabs can be found at depths of 150m to 800m, but mainly these crabs go to depths of around 200m. If the female Japanese Spider Crabs need to lay their eggs, then they even go to shallow depths of 50m. The last few years the hunt for these crabs is slightly going down, because of a protection program to save these species from ending up in a big restaurant. The Japanese spider crab is a real delicacy in some bays like Sagami and Suruga. These crabs are mostly caught in spring when they go the shallow waters to lay their eggs. Now there are some aquariums where they keep living species of Japanese Spider crabs for tourism and research.

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