If you've been living without internet you may not have seen this image yet. It's a coconut crab. It is the largest land-living arthropod in the world, as big as any terrestrial animals (with exoskeletons) will ever get. Probably. It's body length can grow up to 40 cm (16 in) with a leg span of almost a metre (3 feet). It can reach weights of 4 kgs (9 lbs). That's a lotta crab meat!
It is found on islands across the Indian Ocean and parts of the Pacific Ocean as far east as the Gambier Islands, mirroring the distribution of the coconut palm; it has been extirpated from most areas with a significant human population, including mainland Australia and Madagascar.
They're related to hermit crabs but only the juvenile crablettes require shells for protection.
They can't swim and if they are submerged for any length of time they will drown. So, they've taken to the trees. Coconut crabs live pretty much wherever coconut trees grow. However even though they are able to crack open a coconut and they're named after coconuts, they don't restrict their diet to only coconut. Still...can you imagine how succulent coconut fed crab flesh would be?
They are omnivorous and have been known to feed on other crabs. Can you imagine how succulent crab fed crab flesh would be?? They also eat baby sea turtles.
|Attacking a coconut|
How strong would a set of claws have to be to crack open a coconut? As you can see they vary in colouring, like lobsters. I'm sure when they're steamed they turn orange like lobsters too.
|Well hello there, beautiful!|