Thursday, 1 January 2015

Creature 93: Macrocheira kaempferi

This Crab has arms the length of a person

Happy New Year.

Another oversized animal today, this time it is a deep sea crustacean Macrocheira kaempferi commonly known as the Japanese spider crab.

Their body size may be only around 40 cm long, but the length of their claws from tip to tip can be up to 3.8 m long in males. This gives it the longest leg span of any arthropod. Females have much shorter limbs. Japanese spider crabs can weigh up to 19kg. The Japanese spider crab can live up to 100 years old.

I took this photo of a specimen from the Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Hawaii.

The Japanese Spider crab is found off the coast of the Japanese islands, most commonly off the coast of Honshu. The Japanese Spider crab usually lives at depths of around 150-300 m. During breeding season they migrate up to depths of around 50 m and the freshly hatched nauplius live as plankton near the surface of the ocean. They migrate to the ocean depths when they reach adulthood.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Family: Inachidae
Genus: Macrocheira
Species: Macrocheira kaempferi

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