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Japanese Spider Crab

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Japanese Spider Crabs are the world's largest living arthropod, with a legspan that stretches nearly 13ft (4m). Their actually body, however, reaches only about 15in (37cm) across. These Crabs are found on the seafloor in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the Japanese archipelago. They are found at depths of 150-800m, though 200m is very typical. Females will move to even shallower depths in order to lay their eggs.

(Image Source)
The body of the Japanese Spider Crab is made up of a body with eight legs and two long feeding arms that, in males, exceed the length of the legs. These arms are shorter in females. They are reddish-orange in color, with white spots. The eyes are located at the front of the body, and two horns protrude between them.

Japanese Spider Crabs hang out on the sea floor where they feed off of other crustaceans and material of dead animals that has floated downwards. They reportedly can live up to 100 years, making them a very long-lived species.

Japanese Spider Crabs have not been evaluated by the IUCN, but they are fished for consumption purposes. However, the number caught has gone down in recent years due to protection programs. Fishing continues in Saruga Bay, but overfishing in that area has caused fishermen to look deeper and deeper for these large crustaceans.


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