BBC News , 02 August 2006

Three-clawed 'mutant' crab caught

 A "mutant" crab with three pincers has been picked up off the Cornish coast.

Fisherman Jeff Brown caught the 20cm (7.8in) edible crab three miles off Portreath and realising its rarity, handed it into a Newquay aquarium.

The crab, christened Claudette by the Blue Reef aquarium staff, will be quarantined for several days before going on show.

Manager David Waines said additional fully formed pincers on crabs were "incredibly rare".

'Genetic mutation'

Mr Waines said: "I have only seen this once before. It's obviously some sort of genetic mutation."

He said crabs are capable of re-growing limbs and claws if they are lost or damaged in a fight.

The aquarium believes Claudette's ability to re-generate lost limbs became confused and, rather than replacing a missing set of claws, she grew an extra pair instead.

The edible crab is the largest of the crab species commonly found around England.

It sports black-tipped claws for catching and eating prey.