Japanese spider crab at attraction

Imagine this monster nipping your toe! Giant Japanese spider crabs may not sidle up to your deckchair on a Norfolk beach - but visitors to Hunstanton can still take a closer look at their scarily huge claws.

Imagine this monster nipping your toe!

Giant Japanese spider crabs may not sidle up to your deckchair on a Norfolk beach - but visitors to Hunstanton can still take a closer look at their scarily huge claws.

A couple of the beasts from the deep set up home at the resort's Sea Life Sanctuary yesterday for a new Claws feature on crabs and other crustaceans.

They may only be youngsters, but their claw span is already a metre, and in the wild the creatures can grow up to three metres across - big enough to straddle an average saloon car.


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But, as curator Kieran Copeland explained, appearances can be deceiving.

“They are amazing creatures,” he said.

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“Luckily they are quite delicate creatures, feeding on small scraps of fish, so have quite delicate pincers rather than the big crushing claws that some species have.”

Even so, Mr Copeland and his team will have to handle their new residents with care when carrying out regular health checks.

The Claws exhibition includes horseshoe crabs, which are unchanged from prehistoric times and have blue blood. They are more closely related to spiders.

There is also a huge lobster and edible crabs and scampi.

Among the first to see the Japanese spider crabs were members of 1st Heacham Scouts, who opened the exhibition.

t Contact the Sea Life Centre on 01485 533576 or visit www.sealifeeurope.com

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