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Giant Spider Crabs Blanket Sea Floor in Incredible Video Footage

Image: Giant Spider Crabs Blanket Sea Floor in Incredible Video Footage
(Screengrab via YouTube)

By    |   Friday, 17 Jun 2016 02:25 PM

Giant spider crabs have gathered by the thousands in Melbourne, Australia, off the shores of Port Philips Bay, making for an incredible video that was published Tuesday.

Aquatic scientist Sheree Marris made the video, which now has more than 67,000 views on YouTube, while scuba diving, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corp. Marris said that the crabs move from northern shores of Australia to the southern shores from May to July each year because the water is cooler.
 


"What I found really interesting about this aggregation is I've never seen so many before," Marris told ABC. "I swam in a straight line for four-and-a-half minutes and the crabs were thick on the sandy shallows. It was gobsmackingly amazing. [In previous years] I've swam maybe a minute-and-a-half to two minutes and [this year] I wasn't going slow. It's pretty awesome."

The Age reported that great spider crabs move along the bay's bottom often in one big group, feeding and climbing over each other with their long legs. The crabs often create pyramids and could be up to 10 crabs deep.

"It's one of the high points of diving in Victoria," said Mark Norman, chief conservation scientist at Parks Victoria. Norman said he has swum among the great spider crabs in Port Phillip Bay numerous times.

"But every year they get together in a huge mass, to basically change clothes in safety. They have to moult. When you've got 10,000 of them there you satiate your predators very quickly. We've seen stingrays swimming around that are two meters across, with a stomach bulging out like a basketball, because they just can't fit it all in."

Marris told ABC that in a mass like that, it is pretty much every crab for themselves in the Port Phillips Bay.

"There's no hierarchy," Marris told ABC. "It's just this orange chaos of legs and claws. It's a moving blanket of legs and claws really, it's pretty awesome."

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Giant spider crabs have gathered by the thousands in Melbourne, Australia, off the shores of Port Philips Bay, making for an incredible video that was published Tuesday.
giant, spider, crabs, australia
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2016-25-17
Friday, 17 Jun 2016 02:25 PM
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