August 29, 2010

Coconut Crabs

How would you like to find this on the side of your trash can? (or anywhere?) - They're becoming a bit of a nuisance around Northern Queensland beach suburbs where there are tidal lagoons.

Coconut Crab (Birgus latro) is the largest terrestrial arthropod in the world. It is known for its ability to crack coconuts with its strong pincers in order to eat the contents. It is sometimes called the robber crab because some coconut crabs are rumored to steal shiny items such as pots and silverware from houses and tents. The second photo gives you a good idea of how large these crabs are - a coconut crab is seeking food from a black trashcan.

The coconut crab is a large edible land crab related to the hermit crab, and are found in the tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans . They eat coconuts for a living! How would you like to be on an island and come across a crab that is more than 3 feet from head to tail and weighs up to 40 pounds, with a pair of large pincers strong enough to open coconuts! They are also found around the Christmas Island immigrant detention centre - so please forward to any prospective "visitors".

As people trying to move them on have found they can easily bite through a wooden broomstick handle.

They can climb trees too, but they only eat coconuts that have already fallen to the ground.

Coconut crab meat has been considered a local delicacy.

And you said that you're afraid of spiders?

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