Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Meet Bruce

"Hello. My name is Bruce."

Bruce is a 10-kilogram Tasmanian giant crab, Pseudocarcinus gigas. He got that big feasting on crabs, snails, and other inverts in the waters off of Australia (the P. gigas range is from the Perth coast in Western Australia to the coast of Victoria, at depths of 100 - 270 meters!).

"I'd shake your hand, but I like to use my massive claw
for crushing food items and the like. No offense."

Bruce is the big man on campus at the Sydney Aquarium's Claws exhibition while the international star, a Japanese spider crab (Macrocheira kaempferi - like this guy), sits out her quarantine: the aquarium needs to be sure, assuming the crab is female, no larvae will make their way into Australian waters, which should be set up anyway for all the crustaceans they're housing (we have a system at the University of Alaska Southeast wet lab to make sure no snow crab larvae make it into southeast waters).

"I'm kind of a big deal. Like, 4-meter leg span big."

Plus they're testing Crabzilla for any possible radioactive contamination from the Fukujima plant leak back in March, as the large spider crab caught for this exhibit was brought in after the Japanese tsunami. Which is a good thing to test for, because you don't want this to happen:

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