A mutant crab had a lucky escape from the pot after fishermen discovered it had a three-pincered claw.
The creature has been named Ali and is being cared for by marine experts at the Blue Reef Aquarium in Hastings after being hauled up in the fishermen’s pots.
As well as a normal pair of fully functional 15cm-long pincers, Ali has an extra appendage growing on his left claw.
Blue Reef curator Daniel Davies said: “It’s certainly unusual. The mutation is usually caused when the crab has moulted and the body is soft.
“Crabs, like other crustaceans, are capable of re-growing limbs and claws if they lose or damage them in a fight.
“So Ali’s ability to regenerate has got confused and, rather than just replacing a missing set of claws, he’s actually ended up growing an extra part instead.
“We are unsure whether Ali can use this extra section of his claw but knowing how powerful edible crab claws can be we are making sure we don’t find out the painful way. It’s very lucky the
fisherman realised just how unusual Ali was and brought him in to us – otherwise I suppose he would have been heading for the pot.”
Ali is now settling into a new display at the aquarium.