Thousands Of Giant Spider Crabs Spotted Off The Shores Of Melbourne Australia

First Posted: Jun 20, 2016 05:23 AM EDT

Hundreds of thousands of giant spider crabs have been filmed by an Australian aquatic biologist and a scientist off the shores of Melbourne in Australia. The gathering of these creatures occurs between May and July when the temperature in the ocean cools down.

The scientists believe that they congregate in the sandy shallows has something to do with the process called molting. This arises when an arthropods, reptiles and insects shed off their outer layer or covering to form a new one. The scientists contemplate that these creatures are molting and piling on top of each other to be protected from being eaten by predators.

Sheree Marris, an Australian aquatic biologist and Jamie Seymour, a fellow scientist filmed this striking army of giant spider crabs. Marris explained that at times they kind of just mounding on top of each other and the maximum she has seen is 10. She further said that's how deep it can actually get, which makes sense because if you're on the top, you're going to be more vulnerable, especially if they've just freshly molted as noted by Tech Times.

She described the phenomenon as far the largest she has ever seen and it's only going to get bigger and better as the crabs are still on the march. She hoped that this film would raise awareness about the diversity of sea life in the southern waters of Australia.

A type of spider crab is the Japanese spider crab, which has the largest leg span of any arthropod. Its leg measures about 3.8 meters (12 ft.) from claw to claw. Its body measures 40 cm (16 in) and weighs up to 19 kilograms (42 lb.). Its Japanese name is taka-ashi-gani, which means "tall legs crab."


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