The Great Invasion. Chinese “clawed aliens” are taking over Britain: scientists show a map

Researchers have shown just how common Chinese mitten crabs have become across the country.

These crustaceans first appeared in the River Thames in 1973 and have since spread towards the UK. By 2016, Chinese crabs, named for their hairy “claws,” were considered a “common species” in the country, the Daily Mail wrote.

The crustaceans gradually moved deeper into Great Britain and were eventually noticed even in London. As well as the crabs’ painful bites, scientists fear they could also threaten Britain’s riverbanks.

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In a new study, scientists from the Museum of Natural History combined records of more than 800 crab sightings from across the country to create the most comprehensive map of the invasion of these “clawed aliens.” The map shows confirmed crustacean sightings across the country, including London, Newcastle, Manchester, Swansea, Glasgow and Brighton.

Exotic animal veterinarian Luana Factor said it was extremely likely the crabs would continue to spread across the country, given their adaptability, migratory behavior and history of previous movements. The problem is that these crustaceans can cause environmental disturbances, such as damaging shorelines by burrowing, competing with native species for resources, clogging drains, and damaging fishing gear.

Researchers note that despite the infestations, the crabs are unlikely to pose a threat to humans or pets, as they can bite painfully if you get too close but cause no other harm to health.

However, there is a possibility that invasive Chinese mitten crabs can grow to the size of dinner plates. Currently, they reach not only near reservoirs, but also in cities.

Note that this crustacean species is among 30 non-native species listed as “of concern” due to its invasiveness and ability to establish in many European countries.

Researchers note that, as a rule, the size of crab shells reaches about 8 centimeters. Moreover, their stay in freshwater bodies is not at all constant, in the autumn they go on a dangerous journey towards saltwater areas.

Previously Focus He wrote that the city was taken over by two species of tarantulas.

Source: Focus


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