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Spiny Spider Crabs Make a Splash at St Andrews Aquarium

Wed 25 Mar 15

St Andrews Aquarium has announced the arrival of some eight legged additions to its growing aquarium family by welcoming a group of spider crabs to the Fife visitor attraction.

The sea creatures, with shells that can grow to over 22cm wide, are now settling into their new enclosure alongside an array of wildlife at the aquarium including octopus, sharks, meerkats and Humboldt penguins.

The Spiny Spider Crabs, also known as Maja Squinado, usually live in the North Sea, Mediterranean and Atlantic waters, and this group of fishy additions have travelled from a native marine centre in Surrey up to the Fife aquarium. Like all crabs, the spider crab sheds its exoskeleton, one of their only forms of protection, and they gather together to molt at the same time, for safety in numbers – something the aquarium team are looking forward to observing with visitors.

John Mace, manager of St Andrews Aquarium commented:

"We are really excited about welcoming the spider crabs to St Andrews Aquarium and are hoping that the new arrivals will like their new surroundings and not be too crabby after all the excitement of their journey! Our aquarium family is continuing to grow and we are now home to a wide range of sea life and other animals that have been big hits with our visitors. I am sure that our latest additions will fit right in."

The new arrivals are from the same family as the Japanese Spider Crab, which has leg span of nearly 4 metres. John has no plans to bring any larger scale eight legged creatures to the aquarium.

He added:
"I don't think we'd have the room for one of the spider crabs' larger cousins at the moment – they are a truly huge species, but never say never. Maybe if someone can find a tank large enough..."

To find out more about St Andrews Aquarium please visit

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