Page last updated at 13:15 GMT, Thursday, 13 August 2009 14:15 UK

'Mutant' crab saved from the pot

Freddie's left claw is positioned 180 degrees in the wrong direction

A mutant crab, caught off the Dorset coast, has been saved from the cooking pot because it has two right claws.

Freddie, thought to be 10 years old, was caught in a lobster pot off Durlston Head.

But because of its distinctive features it was given to Weymouth Sea Life Park where it could live for up to 50 years.

Aquarist Roland Hogbent, from the sea life facility, said the left claw had mutated from birth 180 degrees the wrong way.

'Genetic fluke'

He also said it was rare the crustacean had survived in the wild because it would not have been able to defend itself.

Mr Hogbent said that male crabs sometimes "fight to the death" with their claws.

He said: "I expect it's a genetic fluke. It's left arm is positioned 180 degrees in the wrong direction so it appears it has two right claws.

"It's not that rare for it to happen but very rare for the animal to survive, usually a hindrance like this usually means it wouldn't survive that long in the wild."

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