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Don't hate me because I'm beautiful!

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful!
Photo Information
Copyright: Alli Hemingway (annagrace) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 527 W: 18 N: 851] (2996)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-08
Categories: Crustacia
Camera: Olympus C4000Z
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Underwater Wonder World 4 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-09-05 16:05
Viewed: 4750
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Japanese spider crab (Macrocheira kaempferi) is the largest living arthropod; fully grown it can reach a leg span of almost 4 m (13 feet), a body size of up to 37 cm (15 inches) and a weight of up to 20 kg (44 pounds). The crab's natural habitat is on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean (some 300-400 m deep) around Japan, where it feeds on dead animals and shellfish. It is believed to have a life expectancy of up to 100 years.

It is a particularly old species of crab, and it is often referred to as a living fossil. Currently, this is the only species of the Macrocheira genus, but there have been two reports of other, fossilized specimens.

Physical characteristics
The crab has an orange body, but it has white spots on its thin legs. The claws of male specimens become longer than its legs, and a large male's claws, when opened, can widen to 3 metres. The width of the oval-shaped and vertically rounded shell can reach up to 30 cm, and can be up to 40 cm long.

Its compound eyes are situated on the front, and two thorns stick out between them. Younger specimens feature hair and thorns on the shell, and their frontal horns are longer, but these gradually atrophy as they grow older.

Natural habitat
The Japanese spider crab's habitat is limited to the Pacific side of the Japanese archipelago. They often live in the seabed at depths of 150 - 800 m, but are found most prominently in depths of 200 - 300 m. In spring, they can often be found laying eggs in waters as shallow as 50 m.

The Japanese spider crab is caught using small trawling nets, and is often eaten salted and steamed. It is caught in the Sagami, Suruga, and Tosa bays and also around the Izu Islands. Catching of the crab is forbidden during the spring, when it lays its eggs.

It is considered a specialty around Suruga Bay, but numbers of the crab have deteriorated over recent years, and there are efforts to protect them. In Wakayama Prefecture, the crabs are caught when they move to shallower waters in the spring.

The crabs are also used for research and ornamental purposes. It has a gentle disposition and is often reared in aquariums.


The photo was shot through 3 feet of glass at the Georgia Aquarium, one of my new favorite spots for nature photos!

I named this photo after a bad advertising campaign for shampoo in the late 80s, anyone remember it?

scottevers7, marhowie has marked this note useful
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To scottevers7: Come visit!annagrace 1 09-06 09:47
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Alli,
wow, that's realy a monster - and so close.
I like the details and the sharpness, you are showing us something from another world I don't know so well, thanks
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Hi Alli,
Something straight from the movie set of Alien 10 I bet! Nice colors and detail for shooting thru the thick glass. A very interesting creature. I am for sure going to make it to that aquarium. It looks like a world class place!

Hi Alli,
Interesting POV, different..and not so pretty :)
I suppose you could even call it scary..you know, the things nightmares are made of..
Almost alien looking too ;)
I would reduce highlights a bit..
Great post mf.

Hi Alli,
Very short on time this morning.
Nice capture, thanks for posting.
Have a great week.

Hello Alli,
I like the POV & good close up of cephalic zone, shows the very strange shape of this crustacean.
Thanks for sharing

Definetly alien looking and a fantastic perspective on this cool crustacean. I reconized the title from a qote from the movie 'Hudson Hawk' starring Bruce Willis, but it is Sandra Berhard that makes the qote "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful!". Very funny. :)

Hi Alli,
You've a sharp and detailed shot here and very interesting to view.


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