Friday, August 26, 2011

Tasmanian Giant Crab

Pseudocarcinus gigas
Tasmanian Giant Crabs are some of the largest crabs in the world. While they aren't as long-limbed at the Japanese Spider Crabs, they are incredibly heavy. These massive crustaceans can weigh over 20lbs (9kg) and sport a large claw that is 17in (43cm) long!

As the name suggests, Tasmanian Giant Crabs can be found off the coast of Tasmania and southern Australia. They live at depths of between 20 and 600m, but are most common in the 200m area. They are long lived and slow growing.
Females of the species are actually decent parents, as far as invertebrates go. They will carry their eggs with them for up to fourth months. What's pretty spectacular is that their can be almost 2 million eggs!

Since the early 20th century, Tasmanian Giant Crabs had been caught  up as a byproduct of Lobster fishing. In 1992 it became possible to fish for the Giant Crabs directly, and the industry has been carefully monitored and regulated. These careful actions allow for the Crabs to be taken without causing over-fishing and damage to species balance within the ecosystem.

IUCN Status : Not Listed
Location : Australia
Size : Length up to 5ft (1.5m)
Classification : Phylum : Arthropoda -- Subphylum : Crustacea -- Class : Malacostraca
Order : Decapoda -- Family : Menippidae -- Genus : Pseudocarcinus -- Species : P. gigas


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