In addition, experts found that these giant creatures are not overly aggressive despite their intimidating appearance, and can adapt pretty well to enclosed environments. But the ancestry of spider crabs can be traced all the way back to prehistoric times. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. They like cold water. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Wikimedia CommonsThe giant spider crab is most vulnerable during its molting period. [9] The Japanese name for this species is taka-ashi-gani literally translating to “tall legs crab.” Their armored exoskeletons help protect them from larger predators such as octopuses, but giant spider crabs also use camouflage. With a leg span of 13 feet (4 meters) and an average weight of around 40 pounds (16-20 kg), it claims the title of largest crab. Their long legs are weak, and a study found that three-quarters of surveyed crabs were missing at least one limb. The Japanese spider crab’s limbs can grow up to 13 feet long, making the species the biggest arthropod in terms of length in the world. It is the subject of fishery and is considered a delicacy. The Japanese spider crab looks much more terrifying than it actually is. [11] The Japanese spider crab is an omnivore, consuming both plant matter and animals. While the giant spider crab can weigh 40 pounds, it’s still no match for the American lobster, which can easily tip the scales beyond that. The Japanese spider crab (タカアシガニ takaashigani, “long-legged crab”), or Macrocheira kaempferi, is a species of marine crab that lives in the waters around Japan. The genus Macrocheira contains multiple species. Some have been known to scrape the ocean floor for plants and algae while others pry open the shells of mollusks. It may also have the longest lifespan of any crab, living to be 100 years old. The Japanese spider crab is a large catch for any fisherman. [8] They like to inhabit vents and holes in the deeper parts of the ocean. These giant crustaceans become even more vulnerable as they mature. Now that you’ve learned all about the gargantuan Japanese spider crab, read about how harvesting horseshoe crab blood became a multimillion dollar industry linked to our health. Unlike its giant descendants, the C. granulata was small, measuring less than an inch. Its legs — which are plentiful enough to lock an enemy in a powerful embrace — are indeed the sea creature’s most striking features. Perhaps even more impressive, the spider crab is one of the oldest living species on Earth, dating back about 100 million years. It has the largest leg span of any arthropod. Its legs, though terrifyingly strong, are actually susceptible to breakage since they are so lanky. [8] Apart from its outstanding size, the Japanese spider crab differs from other crabs in a number of ways. The giant spider crab is still considered a delicious delicacy in some parts of Japan, but the government has kept tight regulations on the harvesting of the species to protect it. Natasha Ishak is a staff writer at All That's Interesting. Its scientific name, Machrocheira kaempferi, commemorates Engelbert Kaempfer, a German naturalist and physician who studied plants in Japan during the 17th century. [5] The body may grow to a size of 40 cm (16 in) in carapace width and the whole crab can weigh up to 19 kilograms (42 lb)[6]—second only to the American lobster among all living arthropod species. The crab’s bumpy carapace blends into the rocky ocean floor. It has the largest leg span of any arthropod. “This discovery in Spain is quite impressive and pushes back the origin of spider crabs as known from fossils.”. Blue crabs can live up to eight years, horseshoe crabs live up to twenty, red crabs can live around thirty years, and hermit crabs can reach well past sixty! In 2013, researchers discovered the oldest known spider crab species in a fossil reef in northern Spain. [11] Development of the planktonic larvae is temperature-dependent and takes between 54 and 72 days at 12–15 °C (54–59 °F). To further the illusion, a spider crab will adorn its shell with sponges and other animals.Japanese spider crabs are mostly found off the southern coasts of the Japanese island of Honshū, from Tokyo Bay to Kagoshima Prefecture. With a leg span of 13 feet (4 meters) and an average weight of around 40 pounds (16-20 kg), it claims the title of largest crab. The oldest species of spider crab lived about 100 million years ago on Earth. The Japanese spider crab (Macrocheira kaempferi) is a species of marine crab that lives in the waters around Japan. [14] The giant spider crabs migrate up to a depth of around 50 metres (160 ft) during breeding season. It is small and transparent with a round, legless body and usually drifts as plankton at the surface of the ocean. [8] Adults can be found at depths between 50 and 600 m (160 and 1,970 ft). It also sometimes acts as a scavenger consuming dead animals. However, one crab was found as far south as Su-ao, in eastern Taiwan. They can inhabit waters as deep as 1,000 feet, but they move to shallower depths to breed. Fishing for Japanese spider crab is completely prohibited by the government during the animal’s mating season, which falls between January and April. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. It was a male specimen with a 12-foot-long leg span and a weight of 44 pounds. Japanese spider crabs in captivity are usually separated from other crabs while they’re molting — for their own safety — until their new shells have hardened. Wikimedia CommonsThe Japanese spider crab is the biggest crab in the world. Change ), Follow Sea Animal's Blog on WordPress.com. The Japanese spider crab (タカアシガニ takaashigani, "long-legged crab"), or Macrocheira kaempferi, is a species of marine crab that lives in the waters around Japan. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on the well-being of these giants of the sea. Despite its monstrous reputation, the Japanese spider crab is a vulnerable animal. ( Log Out /  There is still much that isn’t known about the species because they live so deep in the sea, making it difficult for experts to study them further. ( Log Out /  The latter nickname comes from Japanese folklore, which describes the ocean animal as a sea-dwelling monster that preys on unsuspecting sailors or divers and drags them to their watery graves to feast on their decaying corpses. [12] Based on results from public aquariums, Japanese spider crabs tolerate at least between 6 and 16 °C (43 and 61 °F), but are typically maintained at 10–13 °C (50–55 °F).Female crabs carry the fertilized eggs attached to their abdominal appendages until they hatch into tiny planktonic larvae. Harvesting the animal during its breeding season is prohibited in Japan. These crabs prefer to scavenge alone and show little communication between individuals. They live at depths of 150–300 metres (490–980 ft) or more. The Japanese spider crab is a giant sea creature that lurks in the waters surrounding Japan. In the wild, the Japanese spider crab protects itself through camouflage using discarded shells, kelp, and anything else it can find on the floor of the sea. The first pleopods of males are unusually twisted, and its larvae appear primitive. The Japanese spider crab is believed to have a life expectancy of up to 100 years. Like all crabs, a giant spider crab must molt off its old hard exoskeleton to accommodate its body’s growth. Wikimedia CommonsThese crabs prefer to scavenge alone and show little communication between individuals. One study found that nearly 75 percent of all captured spider crabs that were surveyed were missing at least one limb. Brian Gratwicke/FlickrThe oldest species of spider crab lived about 100 million years ago on Earth. Lifespan: Estimated up to 100 years The Japanese spider crab, a huge and fearsome creature, is found only in the Pacific Ocean near the Japanese islands Honshu and Kyushu. However, the crab has been found as far south as Su-ao, in Eastern Taiwan. [2] Two fossil species belonging to the same genus have been found, Macrocheira ginzanensis and Macrocheira yabei, both from the Miocene of Japan.The Japanese spider crab has the greatest leg span of any arthropod, reaching up to 5.5 metres (18 ft) from claw to claw. The earliest spider crab specimen displayed at the American Museum of Natural History measured 12 feet across. However, the Japanese spider crab loses its top rank when it comes to weight. The ancient spider crab species was named Cretamaja granulata and lived 100 million years ago during the Cretaceous period. However, the Japanese spider crab puts all of them to shame. The giant spider crab is most vulnerable during its molting period. It is also likely the crab with the longest lifespan, living to be up to 100 years old. [14] The giant spider crabs migrate up to a depth of around 50 metres (160 ft) during breeding season. It’s a complicated process and, if not done carefully, could end up killing the crab. The Japanese spider crab is the biggest crab in the world. The Japanese spider crab Macrocheira kaempferi is mostly limited to the Pacific side of the Japanese islands, Konshu and Kyushu, usually at a latitude between 30 and 40 degrees North. The average crab that you find in the supermarket can actually live a pretty long time. The Japanese spider crab is thought to be the biggest crab in the world, with a leg span of up to 13 feet and an average weight of 40 pounds. It is a particularly old species of crab and it is often referred to as a living fossil. [11] The temperature preference of adults is unknown, but the species is regular at a depth of 300 m (980 ft) in Suruga Bay where the water generally is about 10 °C (50 °F). While their numbers are declining, they are not considered a vulnerable or endangered species. The Japanese spider crab lives in the ocean off the coast of Japan. [13] During the larval stage the young crab looks nothing like its parents. The Japanese spider crab’s presence commands attention with its bright orange hue and 10 lengthy limbs. These crabs often scavenge for food alone and there is little communication between individuals, even between those kept together in captivity. how harvesting horseshoe crab blood became a multimillion dollar industry linked to our health, blue-ringed octopus, one of the world’s deadliest — and cutest — living creatures. [9] It is reported to have a gentle disposition despite its ferocious appearance. It is also likely the crab with the longest lifespan, living to be up to 100 years old. Wikimedia CommonsHarvesting the animal during its breeding season is prohibited in Japan. In its native Japan, the animal is simply known as taka-ashi-gani (“long legs”) or shinin-gani (“dead man’s crab”). It was later moved to the Sea Life in Paris Val d’Europe Aquarium in France, where visitors can still see the live giant firsthand. To protect themselves from predation, the smaller and younger crabs can decorate their shells with objects such as kelp. They are found most often in the Sagami, Suruga, and Tosa bays, as well as off the coast of the Kii peninsula. It’s true that these crabs feed on dead bodies that they scavenge at the bottom of the sea… but they’re mostly dead sea specimens. It is the subject of fishery and is considered a delicacy. Japanese Spider Crabs are huge / Source 7. [1] The crab is orange with white spots along the legs. The spider crab could get stuck inside their old shell or get cannibalized by other crabs during their molting state. Meet The Japanese Spider Crab, The ‘Daddy Long Legs Of The Sea’.

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