Video: Massive crab at Portsmouth aquarium

BIG UNIT Aquarist Rob Davidson carefully holding 'The Beast' at Portsmouth's Blue Reef Aquarium

BIG UNIT Aquarist Rob Davidson carefully holding 'The Beast' at Portsmouth's Blue Reef Aquarium

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IT’S been dubbed ‘The Beast’ and it certainly lives up to its name.

Weighing in at an impressive 4kg, the massive crustacean is getting used to life at the Blue Reef Aquarium after being brought up from the Solent by a local fisherman.

They can actually get a tiny bit bigger than this, according to most records, but I have never seen one this large.

Rob Davidson, part of the animal care team at Blue Reef Aquarium

The 10-year-old crab was destined for the dinner table until staff at Viviers fish merchants asked the aquarium if it wanted to save the sea creature – which measures 55cm across.

It now lives happily in a tank under temporary quarantine and has been nicknamed ‘The Beast’ by aquarium staff due to its size.

But it is hoped the sea creature can be unveiled to the public soon once a large enough tank is found.

Rob Davidson, part of the animal care team at Blue Reef Aquarium, said it is the largest crab he has ever seen.

He puts its size down to good health and its age, and says brown crabs can live up to 30 years.

‘For an edible crab he is pretty sizeable,’ Rob said.

‘They can actually get a tiny bit bigger than this, according to most records, but I have never seen one this large.

‘He is just over half a metre from claw to claw when they are stretched out, which is impressive.’

He added: ‘He will definitely prove a hit with the visitors. It would be nice to see him on display as soon as possible.

‘We’ve got some other small crabs in the tank we want to put him in at the moment so we need to think about moving them out first. Our main concern is ensuring it has enough room as it’s so big.’

The edible crab is Britain’s largest species.

It uses its giant claws to crush and tear its prey, which includes a variety of shellfish such as mussels.

Tests have shown crabs’ claws have the crushing strength of over 90 pounds per square inch.

An average person’s hand is only capable of squashing to 25 lb per square inch.

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