Coconut Crab

Today we’ll talk about Coconut Crab. As it is said, the monster cab. They are large cabs that come in a variety of colors. They are also claimed to be capable of eating people. You shouldn’t be shocked. It is alleged to have swallowed Amelia Earhart, who went missing over the Pacific Ocean in 1937. Is this, however, correct? To learn more, read the blog and you will find the solution.

Coconut Crab

  • The coconut crab, also known as the robber crab, has formidable pincers that are among the animal kingdom’s most lethal weapons.
  • They are land-based hermit crabs.
  • They can be deep blue, crimson, purple-red, or any mix of the three, depending on where they inhabit.

Scientific Name

Birgus latro

Life History

  • They begin their life in the water as planktonic larvae.
  • They eat other plankton and go through multiple life cycles before reaching their sub-adult stage and attempting to reach land.
  • Young Coconut Crab will discover the appropriate shell to call home until they outgrow it on their trip to the shore or shortly after arriving, providing them with protection from predators and the weather.

Physical Description

Its body is split into a front portion (cephalothorax) with 10 legs and an abdomen, as is the case with all decapods. The chelae (claws) on the front-most set of legs are big, with the left being larger than the right.

Size

  • This type of land crab may grow to be three feet broad, nearly one-and-a-half feet long, and weigh up to nine pounds, making it the world’s biggest land crab.
  • Males are somewhat bigger than females, but only by a little margin.

Color

  • They come in a variety of colors, including near black, dark purple, or varying shades of blue, as well as orange, red, or brown, although the kind of variation has never been identified.

Weight

  • They are around 4.5 kg (10 pounds).

Diet

  • They are omnivorous, meaning they will consume both plants and animals.
  • Birds have been killed, kittens have been eaten, and pig corpses have been ripped apart.
  • They’ll consume their exoskeletons as well.
  • They lose their exoskeletons to grow new ones, as do most crabs.
  • However, unlike other crabs, when their old, molted shell slips off, they do not abandon it in the wild. Instead, they consume the entire meal.

Habitat

  • They may be found on the beaches of tropical western Indo-Pacific Ocean islands such as Madagascar, Seychelles, and Easter Island.
  • They live in burrows that provide them with safety and allow them to store food safely, and it appears that they bury themselves during molting times (when an animal sheds its exoskeleton and grows a new, bigger one in its place).
  • Adult crabs prefer to stay on land, but they do occasionally venture into the ocean.

Distribution

  • They may be found in the Indian Ocean and the central Pacific Ocean, and their distribution is similar to that of the coconut palm.

Reproduction

  • From May to September, especially in July and August, coconut crabs marry regularly and swiftly on dry land.
  • The male and female battle, and the male mates by turning the female over on her back.
  • It takes roughly 15 minutes to complete the mating process.

Prey

  • They will consume fruit, nuts, and seeds that have fallen to the ground.
  • Crabs are also merciless predators, which is surprising for a crab. ‘
  • The majority of other crabs only live along the water’s edge or in the ocean, and their primary food source is dead animals such as marine worms and the flesh of other deceased crabs.

Predators

  • Adult coconut crabs have just one known predator: humans, while youngsters may fall prey to lizards, toads, and feral pigs.
  • They begin their life in the water as planktonic larvae. 

Read also: MillipedeRead to know about this

Monster Coconut Crab

  • Charles Darwin gives this name to Coconut Crab.
  • Monstrous- When Charles Darwin first saw a coconut crab, it was the only name he could think of to describe it.

Amelia Earhart Coconut Crab

  • There have been instances where coconut crabs have attempted to harm humans. However, there remains the question of whether it would devour humans.
  • Amelia Earhart is alleged to have been eaten by Coconut Crab.
  • Researchers discovered a torn-apart fragmented skeleton on Nikumaroro Island in 1940.
  • This may be the body of Amelia Earhart, the famed female pilot who went missing over the Pacific Ocean in 1937.
  • If the remains were that of Amelia Earhart, some experts believe she was ripped apart by coconut crabs.
  • It’s worth mentioning that the mystery of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance has never been fully solved.

Cooking Coconut Crab

It is a delicacy and aphrodisiac among Pacific islanders, having a flavor that is comparable to lobster and crabmeat. The eggs inside the female coconut crab and the fat in the belly are the most valuable portions. It is prepared in several parts of the world, and the following is the procedure:

  • Cook the coconut crab in a large saucepan with the second coconut milk extract, the chilies, lime juice, and a sprinkle of salt until the mixture comes to a boil.
  • Cover and boil for 9 minutes, then remove the crab with tongs and a slotted spoon and put aside.

Threats &  Conservation Status

  • It is classified as a data deficient species by the IUCN, which means we don’t know enough about it to establish its conservation status
  • Given that humans are the sole significant predator of coconut crabs, we may presume that overharvesting is a possible – albeit unlikely – threat to the species, especially given how slowly they develop.
  • Climate change, which may disrupt food availability and reproductive cycles, and ocean acidification, which would make it harder for larval and juvenile crabs to build their exoskeletons, are two further threats to coconut crabs.

Cultural Aspects

  • It is a delicacy and aphrodisiac among Pacific islanders, having a flavor that is comparable to lobster and crabmeat.
  • The eggs inside the female coconut crab and the fat in the belly are the most valuable portions.

Coconut Crab-FAQ

How big is a Coconut Crab?

They are land-based hermit crabs. This type of land crab may grow to be three feet broad, nearly one-and-a-half feet long, and weigh up to nine pounds, making it the world’s biggest land crab. Males are somewhat bigger than females, but only by a little margin.

What is a Coconut Crab?

The coconut crab, also known as the robber crab, has formidable pincers that are among the animal kingdom’s most lethal weapons.

What does Coconut Crab Taste like?

It is a delicacy and aphrodisiac among Pacific islanders, having a flavor that is comparable to lobster and crabmeat.

Where do the largest Coconut Crabs live?

Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean boasts the world’s biggest and densest colony of coconut crabs, while being outnumbered by the Christmas Island red crab by more than 50 times.

Can a Coconut Crab break your finger?

Your fingers can get broken in its handshake. A large crab from the Asia-Pacific region can support the weight of a young child and has the strongest claws of any crustacean.

Will Coconut Crab eat humans?

There have been instances where coconut crabs have attempted to harm humans. Humans are their sole predators (apart from other coconut crabs), and they will attack back if they are targeted. Some individuals living on Pacific Ocean islands have discovered this the hard way.