Natural Wonders

Mating and cannibalism among giant crabs

Giant spider crabs are ruthless - if the female is wounded during fighting, the male will eat her alive

Our Big Blue Backyard is one of New Zealand's most celebrated and discussed TV series, produced by the world-renowned NHNZ - formerly Natural History New Zealand - based in Dunedin.

Newsroom is featuring some of the top moments from this incredible show, including behind-the-scenes interviews with underwater cinematographer Kina Scollay, and NHNZ executive producer Judith Curran.

“We knew that it is in late summer when mostly male giant spider crabs migrate up from the deep trenches to seek females in the shallows and they can form huge congregations of thousands of crabs. We were very lucky to come across this spectacle and film the bizarre orgy of mating, violent fights to the death and especially the cannibalism. If a female is wounded in a fight a male will forget about mating and instead begin to eat her alive.”

 Kina Scollay                                                                                                                       Underwater cinematographer

NHNZ series Our Big Blue Backyard was made for TV One with the help of NZ on Air

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