Giant Damithrax

I've seen some impressively large crabs in the museum's collections, but nothing quite like what I saw on the reef off Southwater Cay in Belize. The team were out for a late afternoon snorkel and came across 2 very large Damithrax spinosissimis. The first one was larger than any I had seen, but the second one (pictured) was even larger. I would estimate the cheliped dactyls at close to 5" long and the gape large enough to accommodate my wrist. This crab was probably the coolest animal I saw in the two weeks on the island. I had no impulse to collect either of these magnificent crabs. They belong on the reef contributing to the gene pool and to reef diversity. I do wish there way a way to know just how old crabs of this size are.