Page last updated at 15:50 GMT, Thursday, 11 September 2008 16:50 UK

Huge claw saves lobster's bacon

Eddy the lobster
Aquarium staff believe Eddy is about 50 years old

A giant lobster was saved from ending up on a dinner plate after fishermen were impressed by his huge claw, according to a marine expert.

The 3ft (1m) creature, which boasts a claw measuring about 18in (46cm), was caught off Eddystone Reef in Cornwall - hence the crustacean's name of Eddy.

When seafood supplier John Brannan saw the massive crusher he donated Eddy to the Blue Reef Aquarium in Newquay.

Curator Matt Slater said the claw was so heavy Eddy struggled to lift it.

It could be that Eddy's developed his huge appendage to attract the ladies
Matt Slater, Blue Reef Aquarium

"Eddy's a truly impressive specimen, it's by far the largest crusher that anyone here has ever seen," he said

"Initially we thought it may have grown so large as a response to his environment.

"But some experts also believe that females favour males with disproportionately large crusher claws, so it could be that Eddy's developed his huge appendage to attract the ladies."

All lobsters are born with a cutting and a crushing claw. Their prey consists of crabs, which are grabbed by the legs using the cutter claw while the crusher breaks open the shell.

Other prey includes mussels, clams, sea urchins, starfish and marine worms.

Mr Slater said: "Eddy could be up to 50 years old, he will now enjoy a well-earned retirement in a special display at the aquarium."

Channel 4 News Huge claw saves giant lobster - 14 hrs ago
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