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Chinese Crab Invades the Thames

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UK - The Huge-clawed Mitten Crab that has arrived in the UK by ship could cause untold damage, experts at WWF and Natural History Museum warn.

The Chinese Mitten Crabs, whose name comes from the large claws which are covered in bristles and which resembling mittens, originate in the Far East but have spread to London via the ballast tanks of ships, writes Lara Deauville, TheLondonPaper.

According to her article, armies of the crabs have colonised the Thames and are now spreading to other rivers around England.

The Mitten Crab burrows into and destroys fragile riverbanks, preys on native species and competes with native animals such as crayfish.

A warning on the Natural History Museum website says: "In the right conditions, the Mitten Crab multiplies and spreads at an astonishing rate. The crab can even leave the water, cross dry land and enter a new river system. Its phenomenal ability to disperse is of concern to scientists in the UK because the crab could infiltrate many of the country's rivers."