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#17 Coconut Crabs!

There are some crabs that just love coconuts. This is why they are named Coconut Crabs! Interesting! Don’t you think?

Coconut Crabs are large, nocturnal land crabs. It means that they sleep in their dens during the day, and come out only at night in search of food. They are found in the central Pacific Ocean and in the Indian Ocean. The largest population of Coconut Crabs in the world can be found in Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.

coconut crab

Coconut Crabs are experts at climbing trees! But they cannot swim! If the adult crab is left in the water, for more than a day, they can drown. This is because they cannot breathe underwater since they breathe through a lung like organ that absorbs oxygen from the air. However, they are born in the water, the mother Coconut Crab releases a large number of eggs in the ocean, once these eggs hatch, the larvae live in the water for around a month and then drop to the ocean floor in search of an empty snail shell. They live there at the bottom for another month and then come out of the water. They take almost forty years to grow to their maximum adult size!

Where do Coconut Crabs live?

These crabs are a shy lot! And they love to live alone and do not form any groups like the other animals. They make their homes in the trunks of trees that have fallen and rotted.

What do the Coconut Crabs look like?

While the younger of these crabs are brown in colour with black stripes on their legs, the colour of the adult crab ranges from brown to light violet and deep purple. Unlike most crabs that live in the water, that have specialised organs called aesthetascs on their antennae. These aesthetascs help them determine the direction of smell.  As these crabs live on the land, the aesthetascs on the antennae of Coconut Crabs are blunt and short, and look more like those of insects.

How big are Coconut Crabs?

The adult Coconut Crab weighs about 4.5 kg and is about 40 inches from head to toe. The males are generally larger than the females.

What do Coconut Crabs like to eat?

Coconut Crabs, as the name suggests, love coconuts, but they also like fruits like nutmeg, figs and guava. They even like seeds, nuts and the pith of fallen trees. Besides these, they also munch on rats and dead fish. It was believed that they climbed palm trees to dislodge coconuts, so that they can crack open the coconuts to eat the white fleshy part of the coconut. The truth is they only eat the coconuts that have already fallen to the ground. They use two large pincers to chip open the coconuts, and eat the soft white fleshy part of the coconut. They can however climb up to twenty feet high!

How do Coconut Crabs defend themselves from predators?

These crabs are excellent pinchers! If they feel threatened, they are capable of giving the most painful pinch! Not only that, they can hold you tight and not let you go! They have an excellent sense of smell, which they use to attack predators as well as locate food.

Can you tell us another name for Coconut Crabs?

Fun Fact

The Coconut Crabs can survive a fall of at least 15 feet unhurt!

Explore Response
#17 Answer

Coconut Crabs are also called Robber Crabs because they like to steal objects that shine, from nearby tents and homes! They love shiny stuff like silverware and pots and pans!

Best Response
Master Karan Khanna 16 years.
July 10, 2014
The coconut crab, is a kind of hermit crab. It is also known by the names of robber crab, ganjo crab or palm thief....

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Answers (3)
Mrs. Shama Bose, 40 years | Posted July 15, 2014
Coconut crabs are known as ganjo crabs.
Master Karan Khanna, 16 years | Posted July 10, 2014
The coconut crab, is a kind of hermit crab. It is also known by the names of robber crab, ganjo crab or palm thief.
Miss Anchal Sharma, 15 years | Posted July 08, 2014
Coconut crabs are called as Robber crabs!

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