Friday, February 25, 2011

WEYMOUTH: Monster crab on show

Now this is a BIG crab! view

WEYMOUTH Sea Life Park is playing host to the biggest crab ever seen in captivity.
Crab Kong, who is happily relaxing in his display tank, took over the title from a female spider crab called Crabzilla.
She caused a sensation when she made a brief appearance at Birmingham Sea Life Centre last summer, but 15 kg Crab Kong has put her firmly in the shade with his vital statistics which include a claw span of more than eight feet.

He was caught by fishermen from the small coastal village of Heda in Suruga Bay southwest of Tokyo and was shipped to the UK instead of going to market. Sea biologist Robin James had visited Heda only a few weeks earlier and the fishermen knew he would be interested. Kong is destined to star in a new display at the Sea Life centre in Munich, but UK wildlife fans can see him at the Weymouth Sea Life Park before he goes. He will join a variety of British sea fish including rays and gurnards in an icy cold sandy seabed display. Robin said: “Getting in an animal as impressive as Crab Kong is the aquarium equivalent of signing Ronaldo.”

“Kong is sure to be an even bigger draw than Crabzilla and giving people a chance to witness first hand one of the many wonders of the deep oceans helps boost support for marine conservation.” In the wild Japanese spider crabs can achieve a leg-span of over 12 feet. That is big enough to straddle a car and they can weigh as much as 19kgs. Robin said: “These crabs are believed capable of living to be 100-years-old. We think Kong is between 30 and 40-years-old.”

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