The giant Japanese spider crab is not actually a very big crab, but it just seems so big. It has big giant legs that give you the impression that it is a gigantic sea monster. There are many stories told about them, for example there is been told that this crab feeds himself on dead bodies from people who died on sea. It's a true story because the Japanese spider crab feeds himself with everything he finds on the bottom, including death bodies. There is also been told that these crabs were spotted in the jungles of Japan and when they were spotted the people where shocked to see these gigantic crabs on land. I'm not so sure about this one, but it could be true.
The Japanese spider crab called Macrocheira kaempferi belongs to the family of the arthropods. Just like I said before these crabs seem huge because of the great leg span that can grow up to 4m. The actually body of the Japanese spider crab can only reach a size of 37 cm with a weight of 20 kg. You could compare them as little sea turtles with big legs and just as sea turtles the life expectancy of these sea creatures is estimated at 100 years.
The characteristics of the spider crab are, it has 8 legs with 2 feeding arms. The male specimen is slightly different then the female specimen, the arms of the male specimen where the claws of the spider crab are locate become longer then the other ones and just as you could see on any picture of a Japanese spider crab the body is mostly red with white spots on his legs. The eyes of the Japanese Spider crab are placed on the front with two little horns between the eyes. These horns become shorter with age. Some spider crabs attach sponges and sea anemones on there shell, just like other crabs to protect them against other predators. The Japanese spider crabs seems big, but it is a very vulnerable creature.
The environment of the Japanese spider crab limits itself to the Pacific side of the Japanese archipelago. The crabs can be found on depths of 150m to 800m, but mainly these crabs go to lower depths of 200m. If the Japanese Spider Crab needs to lay his eggs, then they even go to shallow depths of 50m. The last few years the hunt for these crabs is slightly going down because of a protection program to safe this specie from ending up in a big restaurant. The Japanese spider crab is a real delicacy in some bays like Sagami and Suruga. Mostly these crabs are caught in spring when they go to shallow water to lay there eggs. Now there are even some aquariums where they keep living species of Japanese Spider crabs for tourism and research.