Blackpool's marine giant 'Big Daddy' dies aged 80 years old
Big Daddy, the biggest captive Japanese Spider Crab in the world hasÂ died aged approximately 80 years old.
He had recently grown lethargic and resisted every effort of the displays staff to perk him up.
Displays Curator Scott Blacker, said: “He was clearly a very elderly crab and it seems he had simply reached the end of his natural life-span.”
“That does nothing to lessen our sadness at the loss of a creature that had become more like a member of the family than just an animal in our care,” he added.
Christened after the professional late wrestling star Shirley Crabtree – once a regular in the ring at The Blackpool Tower, Big Daddy arrived at Sea Life Blackpool in 2013.
“He was destined for a Japanese fish market, but a SEA LIFE representative bought him instead.” said Scott.
“We had the perfect spacious cold water tank for him and he soon settled into his new home on the famous Golden Mile.”
With a claw span of more than 10 feet Big Daddy was officially acknowledged as the biggest of his species on public display when he appeared in the Guinness Book of Records.
Found in deep waters off the Japanese island of Honshu, the world’s biggest crabs feed on smaller crustaceans and dead fish.
They move into shallower waters every spring to mate and spawn.
They now enjoy protection during this period but in the past were collected in large numbers for the food market.
“We would often hand-feed Big Daddy and occasionally I would climb into the tank with him to give his shell a clean to keep it free from parasites,” said Scott.
“He is going to be sorely missed.”