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Wednesday, 7 August, 2002, 19:25 GMT 20:25 UK
Three-clawed crab grabs limelight
Clarissa, the three-clawed crab
Clarissa the edible crab has two pincers on her left side
A crab with three claws has become the latest attraction at a north Wales aquarium.

The crustacean, christened Clarissa by staff at Anglesey Sea Zoo, has two left pincers which it can move independently of each other.


A lot of creatures have the ability to regenerate limbs which have suffered damage

Clare White, Anglesey Sea Zoo

Clarissa was brought in by a fishermen who spotted there was something different about the edible crab after she turned up in the nets of his trawler.

And instead of ending up in a pot in a local restaurant, the extra claw has earned her a tank of her own at the visitor centre where her unusual looks are earning a host of admirers.

Workers at the sea zoo in Brynsiencyn were sceptical at first when told a crab with three claws had been found.

Crabs in the wild have been known to re-grow a claw which has been damaged or lost due to an accident or predator attack, but tales of one with an extra set of pincers was met with scepticism.

Clare White, assistant curator at Anglesey Sea Zoo, said: "It's the first one I have seen.

Mussels and periwinkles

"A lot of creatures have the ability to regenerate limbs which have suffered damage.

"Whatever caused this, it triggered her to grow an extra claw."

She added that Clarissa would use her new appendage to help her with the daily task of breaking open shellfish in order to feed.

Clarissa is said to be settling in well in her new home, where her diet includes helpings of mussels and periwinkles.

See also:

02 Nov 01 | England
05 Oct 02 | Science/Nature
21 Sep 00 | Science/Nature
14 Jul 98 | Asia-Pacific
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