Giant Spider crab goes on display

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One of the biggest Spider crabs ever to be seen in the UK has gone on display at Weymouth Sea Life Centre.

Nicknamed 'Crab Kong', the male Spider crab, Macrocheira kaempferi, has a claw span of more than 2.4m/8ft, weighs 15kg/33lb and is thought to be 30-40 years old.

The monster crab was caught off the coast of the village Heda in Suruga Bay southwest of Tokyo in February and was shipped to the UK instead of going to market. SeaLife Centre biologist Robin James had visited Heda only a few weeks earlier and the fishermen knew he would be interested.

Kong will be on display at Weymouth until Easter when he will be transferred to a permanent home at a Sea Life centre in Munich, Germany.

Robin James is quoted saying: "Getting in an animal as impressive as Crab Kong is the aquarium equivalent of signing Ronaldo.

 "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 3.7m/12ft. They can weigh as much as 19kg/41lb and may live 100 years.