Did you know that the world’s largest arthropod can be found at a depth of up to 2000 feet underwater?
The giant Japanese spider crab has legs over 10 feet long and can weight about 20 kg. Its body grows only about a foot long but their armored exoskeleton is quite robust which allows the crab to survive even after losing three legs. They sometimes even grow back broken legs while molting. If I met one with three missing legs I’ll still be keeping quite a huge distance between us since they are far from handicapped. Their claws are quite strong and can inflict serious damage if they get a hold of you.
However, human fingers are not really part of the Japanese spider crab menu and they mostly feed on plants and animals, including dead fish and shellfish. Some have been known to pry open mollusks for dinner. Despite the scary appearance giant spider crabs are known as gentle creatures.
As their name, implies, they are only found in Japan, and only off the coasts that face the Pacific Ocean and are quite abundant around Honshu Island, the largest island in Japan.
Turtles would make good long-term friends for these giant crabs since they are also blessed with long lives, which extend to about a 100 years.
Giant spider crabs mate in the spring and after the female lays her eggs she carries them around until they hatch. Throughout their lives they would continuously molt and regrow their exoskeletons till they reach their giant size.
They also have excellent taste in the latest marine fashion trends and are known to decorate their shells with objects around them such as sponges and kelp. The decorations help them camouflage against predators such as octopuses.
The record holder for the biggest giant spider crab is fittingly named ‘Crabzilla’. His legs measure 12 feet long from tip to tip and he was caught in 2009.