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Rare box crab netted by Cornish Fisherman
Spud the box crab
The box crab usually makes the warm water of Morocco its home

A Cornish fisherman has netted a rare species of deep-sea crab, normally found at depths of up to three kilometres.

Skipper Matthew Keast was fishing for turbot 80 miles west of Scilly when the giant box crab was hauled up in his nets.

The Blue Reef Aquarium is now looking after the crab.

Curator Matt Slater says: "It looks like something from another planet and has caused quite a stir here."

It's one of the oddest crabs I've ever seen
Matt Slater - Blue Reef Aquarium

This particular species of crab is also known as 'shame-faced'. It's earned this name because of the way their claws fold in in front of their face, as if hiding it in shame.

When hungry the box crab uses its powerful claw to open up the shells of various small sea creatures.

Despite its long journey from the depths, the crab appears in reasonable condition.

It's been christened Spud and is being looked after in a specially chilled tank at the attraction in Newquay.

Matt Slater says: "It's one of the oddest crabs I've ever seen. It has weird eyes on stalks which look like bicycle handlebars and a strange pair of backward facing pincers."

"Apparently it's normally found very deep on the edge of the continental shelf which runs from Morocco to Ireland at depths of 3,000 metres," he explained.

Due to the great depths at which they live little is known about giant box crabs, however it is thought they are scavengers and live mainly off dead fish they find on the seabed.




SEE ALSO
Crabs 'sense and remember pain'
27 Mar 09 |  Northern Ireland
Rare box crab found by fisherman
11 May 05 |  Cornwall


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