A Spider Crab is a common Arthropod creature that lives on the floor of the Pacific Ocean and often terrorizes seaboards and waters adjunct to the ocean. Although being a dangerous predator itself, the animal is also considered a rare delicacy in many coastal settlements and has even revived the aquaculture and fishing business in some areas.
Like its pre-war Japanese counterpart, the Regular Spider Crab mostly feeds on aquatic carrion and shellfish. However, due to radiation Spider Crabs grew substantially and gained various new abilities, like a faster movement and attack speed. This is explained by their stronger and thicker legs and claws. Spider Crabs have also developed the ability to hunt critters on land for several hours in a row.
The Giant Spider Crab evolved many years after the war from its preceding relative and has almost perfected its new abilities. Unlike the regular species, the Giant Spider Crab's diet doesn't consist of small shellfish, mammals, or carrion, but of larger prey. The crabs have been seen hunting down and killing large fish, dogs, birds and it also isn't unusual to see a small group of four or five Giant Crab Spiders attack a Mole Rat or even a Brahmin.
Before the war, the Japanese Spider Crab was one of the largest species of the crab family. The animals lived exclusively along the east coast of Japan and had a protected status, but this didn't mean they weren't sought after by fishermen. The animal's meat was used in many local dishes and some prefectures even had included the crab in their specialties. By 2050 the animal seemed to have gone extinct, since no Spider Crabs were caught anymore that year. However, in the last twenty years leading up to the war fuel became scarce for the Japanese fishermen and their big trawlers, which gave the last remaining Japanese Spider Crabs the opportunity to finally recover from the exploitation.
Japan was left completely ruined after the Great War and the ensuing radiated rains. As the dust settled, the islands would remain hidden in radioactive clouds for the next seventy-three years. The spoils of war weren't limited to the land, though. Many animal species and oceanic plants went extinct and their remains littered the ocean floor. This was a big opportunity for the Regular Spider Crabs, who, supported by these large quantities of food rapidly reproduced and expanded their territory and feeding grounds. First around the Japanese home islands towards Korea and south along the Chinese coastline, until they reached Indonesian waters in 2097. Another expansion and migration took place around 2110, the time the crabs started mutating. Several hundreds of Giant Spider Crabs bravely crossed the Pacific Ocean floor and moved along the United States' west coast to Mexico and the middle-American countries. Although not officially confirmed, some fisherman claim they have even caught Spider Crabs in the Gulf of Mexico.
Behavior & dangers
Both the Regular and Giant Spider Crabs are hostile to humans, due to the fact that for years humans have been fishing extensively in their breeding grounds and hunting them down on land. A Spider Crab would rarely attack a human first, although there have been incidents in which Giant Spider Crabs mistook humans and domesticated animals along the shoreline for prey and pulled them underwater. Most other accidents happen to playing children on the beach, people who wash themselves or their clothes in a river or lake and fishermen. Especially this last group of people is constantly under threat. Normally, Spider Crab fishers use large stainless steel wire nets and traps to detain the crabs until they are lowered into the larger ship's hold, but poorly equipped or inexperienced fishermen often get killed or mauled when a crab frees itself from the old rope nets.
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