The giant Japanese crab (Macrocheira Kaempferi), long legged crab” or Japanese spider crab, is one of the rarest and most surprising animals in the world, the reason? it is truly giant.
The Japanese Spider Crab, as its name suggests, is native to Japan and is known for its long, thin legs.
This rare crustacean is the only member of its species, however it belongs to the group of Spider Crabs, that is, those with a triangle-shaped shell and very long legs.
Characteristics of the Japanese Giant Crab
Let’s start by talking about its incredible size. The giant Japanese crab reaches 4 meters and weighs about 20 kilograms.
In this species of rare animals there is sexual dimorphism and this is evidenced by the fact that the males are much larger than the females.
It has 10 legs and each one is two metres long. It uses them to feed and move nimbly in the depths. Its body is small compared to its legs.
On its long legs, this rare animal has claws that are considered very strong. Researchers indicate that the pressure they exert is comparable to the bite of a crocodile.
The claws have an important function on its body. If it feels threatened by a predator, it can bite and inject some kind of anticoagulant to defend itself.
As for the colour of its body, it is orange with white spots on its legs.
Despite its extraordinary appearance and how frightening it can look, the Giant Japanese Crab has been determined to be a gentle crustacean.
In fact, researchers claim that it is rather shy in its relationship with people as it allows itself to be petted and so far shows no aggression.
Most of the time, this amazing crab is underwater. It can stay in the water at depths of 300 metres.
The only time of year when it’s found near the surface is in the spring. At this time they can be seen at a depth of 50 metres.
It is characterised by its lack of vision. But to compensate for the absence of this sense, it has a potentially trained and developed ear.
It also has sensitive hairs that help it to pick up sound waves, without the aid of the ear.
The Japanese Crab is considered a long-lived species, as it can live up to 100 years in its natural habitat.
Habitat and Geographical distribution
The giant Japanese crab has its home south of the island of Honshi (Japan) and is located in the depths between vents and holes.
Feeding the Giant Japanese Crab
The Japanese giant crab is an omnivorous species, which indicates that it can consume both vegetables and animals.
It feeds on the remains of dead animals, molluscs and jellyfish. But it has also been observed scraping in the depths of the sea, algae and sea plants.
There is no reason to worry that the giant Japanese crab is a threat to humans, because despite its amazing size, it has no interest in human flesh.
What is the form of Reproduction of this crustacean?
Both sexes have similar sexual organs and when they mate the male carries the female on him.
This process takes about 6 hours. However, even after mating, they can last 3 days in that position.
The female carries the eggs attached to her belly until they hatch and the young come out.
They are born as small planktonic larvae, looking very different from their parents.
They are small, transparent and legless, and this is truly curious in a species known for its long legs.
Predators and Threats of the giant Japanese crab
Only animals larger than him can be considered true predators for this giant animal.
Actually, the main danger for the giant Japanese crab is that it represents a source of food for many people, especially for the inhabitants of Japan.
In order to prevent its extinction, Japan is taking some actions such as not allowing fishermen to catch it at the time it lays its eggs.
Without a doubt, the giant Japanese crab is one of the strangest and most extravagant animals in the world.