Due to the floods the UK is witnessing of late, from Woolwich to Windsor, London's riverside dwellers are coming under attack from crabs, or more specifically the Chinese Mitten Crab. Here's some interesting information about them:
- It was given its name because its large claws covered by soft bristles resembles mittens. The crab's body is the size of a human palm.
- The mitten crab is catadromous - adults reproduce in salt water and the offspring migrate to fresh water to rear. Once the crabs mate, the males are thought to die and they leave the females to brood the eggs.
- The mitten crab can travel extraordinary distances. In China it migrates up to 1,500 kilometres along some rivers. They feed on small worms and juvenile shellfish.
- In Asia, the Mitten Crab is considered a delicacy.
- It was reported in the London Evening Standard in 1995 that the residents of Greenwich, UK, saw the Chinese mitten crabs coming out of the River Thames and moving towards the high street.
- If you've spotted a Chinese Mitten Crab, the UK's Natural History Museum would love to hear from you.