Reddit | Icehurl

The Stunning Blue Coconut Crab Is A Truly Unique And Huge Creature

Although the animals that we admire and dislike will vary a lot from person to person, there tends to be a pretty strong consensus on which ones we're impressed by.

After all, most of us know that messing around with a tiger, a bear, or a venomous snake is a seriously bad idea, but it's hard not to feel that way when we come across any particularly big example of a creature.

Huntsman spiders, for instance, aren't known to be particularly aggressive or harmful to humans. Good luck convincing someone of that after they see one for the first time, though.

That might also be true in the case of the coconut crab, but you might be surprised how pleasant one can be to look at in the right context.

The coconut crab is the largest terrestrial arthropod in the world.

Reddit | lordlicorice

As we can see here, the crabs can come in many different color varieties, but the Tetiaroa Society explained that the most common version you're likely to see is a very satisfying blue.

Load Comments

You've undoubtedly noticed how large they can be, but they more specifically grow to weigh about nine pounds with a three-foot leg span.

Reddit | Jety28

According to Wired, those antennae are an important part of how it precisely locates food, but it mostly relies on its incredibly keen sense of smell for this purpose.

Load Comments

As the name would suggest, coconuts are a major food source for the big fella, but it'll eat pretty much anything smaller than it.

Reddit | Icehurl

This can include fruit, vegetation, birds, and other crabs, but animals tend to become its dinner when it can either ambush them or find them already dead.

As Michelle Drew from the Max Planck Institute told Wired, they get through the shells of coconuts by pulling the outer fibers away with their claws and then poking through the eye of their coconut with their longest leg before cracking it open.

We can see that process in action here, but it's known to take several days and involve the help of other coconut crabs.

Load Comments

Patience, however, doesn't seem to be a problem for the coconut crab.

Reddit | theopaleyehandler

As Wired reported, it's not unusual for coconut crabs to take 120 years to reach full size.

And while these claws have proved powerful enough to make someone lose the feeling in their thumb for three months after a claw clamped down on it, Drew also emphasized that coconut crabs are known to be gentle unless they're provoked.

Load Comments

Unfortunately, that provocation seems to be happening whether people want it to or not as the coconut crab's habitats are seeing an increasing human presence.

Reddit | Sumit316

Although people can and do eat them, coconut crabs also face threats from the pigs and larger dogs they bring with them.

As Drew said, this means it's becoming increasingly rare to see the crabs reach their full size because they're often eaten before that happens.

h/t: Wired

Load Comments
Next Article