Did you know the Japanese spider crab has the longest leg span of any arthropod? Arthropods include insects, crustaceans (including crabs), spiders, and other animals with a chitinous exoskeleton.
These amazing crabs grow 12.5 feet (3.8 m) across (from the tips of their legs), and they weigh up to 42 pounds (19 kg). They live in deep water on the Pacific side of Japan, with a life span of up to 100 years (maybe the longest life of any crab species). These crabs are scavengers, and in spite of their massive size, they are docile and harmless to humans.
Because they live in really deep water, and their exoskeletons are covered with tough spines, they have few natural predators as adults.
A female Japanese spider crab lays about 1.5 million eggs each season. However, the newly hatched young are extremely small, and swim freely as plankton. Out of 1.5 million eggs, it is thought that only a few actually survive to be adults.
Here is a live video feed from a Japanese Spider crab enclosure at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
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