The Guardian
Email YouTube Facebook Instagram Twitter WhatsApp
Everything you need to live well

Meet The World’s Largest Crab That Feeds On Birds And Breaks Bones

Coconut Crab | Image: Wallpaper Cave

Nature holds a variety of animals, the human mind is yet to comprehend. One of such is the coconut crab. Powerful enough to rip open a coconut, climb trees, break the bones of birds and feed on its flesh.

The coconut crab is one of nature’s gigantic aquatic and terrestrial species. It is a specie of the terrestrial hermit crab also referred to as robber crab or palm thief. This gigantic crab live on both water and land, they mostly spend more time on land than in the sea, it is the largest land-living arthropod in the world.

The crab posses large clamps strong enough to snap the bones of any attacker it gets hold of. According to research, the coconut crab pincers are some of the world’s most powerful and most dangerous weapon in the animal kingdom. The grip of the claws is likened to that of a bite from a lion’s jaws.

The coconut crab, Mbudya Island Tanzania | Image: DTrip

As the name connotes, coconut crabs feed mainly on coconuts, hence why they climb trees so they can reach coconuts. The crabs can climb almost anything, that can be climbed. The pincers it posses enable it to be able to grab hold of anything for hours – be it branches of a tree, walls of a home or the chains within a fence. The process at which they open up coconuts is unnerving, as they can tear a coconut apart with just their bare claws.

Although, coconuts aren’t the only food the gigantic specie is said to feed on. Reports have shown that the coconut crab feeds off on the flesh of other creatures. The crab has been known to hunt and kill birds, attack and eat live pigs. The crab would climb to the top of trees, to attack birds and drag them to underground burrows where it digs as its dwelling place.

National Geographic Explorer Mark Laidre describes the attack strategy as a horrific scene. He once witnessed a coconut crab attack a bird;

“In the middle of the night, I observed a coconut crab attack and kill an adult red-footed booby, the crab grabbed the booby’s wing with its claw, breaking the bone and causing the booby to fall to the ground and finished it off,” he says in a documentary.

Coconut Crab | Image: Wallpaper Cave

Also, in 2007 researchers conducted a study, they place a pig near the dwelling place of the coconut crab and watched as many came out to devour the flesh of the pig and drag the rest of its flesh underground. The creature also feeds off on the corpse of other coconut crabs, thereby it is a cannibal.

More so, The crab eats its own dead skin. They shed their exoskeletons to grow new ones, when it is rid of the old moulted shell, it eats it whole.

This specie of crab is mostly found on islands situated around the Pacific and Indian oceans. A larger population of them are found on Christmas island, due to the sufficient amount of coconut trees found in the area.

However, there is still one shocking fact of the coconut crab which is they could possibly feed on the human flesh. Coconut crabs usually don’t attack humans, according to the food chain humans are their only predators but, when humans lunge towards them they strike back.

Reportedly, natives of the pacific islands have given reports of the crab attacking them. Their claws ripping their flesh and snapping their bones when they lunge towards them or unconsciously place their hands or legs where the crab dwells.

The coconut crab might not be able to roar like the jungle beasts but it is sure as dangerous as any other jungle predator.

In this article:
Coconut CrabCrab
Receive News Alerts on Whatsapp: +2348136370421

Related