Coconut Crab

Couldn’t resist. This is great.

The coconut crab, Birgus latro, is the largest land-living arthropod in the world and is probably at the limit of how big terrestrial animals with exoskeletons can get under the prevailing conditions. Their body is divided into four regions; the cephalic lobe, forepart, trunk, and opisthosoma. It is a highly apomorphic hermit crab and is known for its ability to crack coconuts with its strong pincers in order to eat the contents.

Bin raider (credit)

And should you have the misfortune to get pinched by one of these monsters (and assuming you’re still conscious), you’d do well to remember this gem, from Victorian naturalist Thomas Hale Streets:

It may be interesting to know that in such a dilemma a gentle titillation of the under soft parts of the body with any light material will cause the crab to loose its hold.

Yep. Tickle it. Either that or just batter it with a rock. Quick as you can.

10 thoughts on “Coconut Crab

  1. Blimey! If that thing can crack open a coconut, the mind doesn’t have to ponder long on what it could do to a human victim!! I think it would involve rather more screaming than tickling!!

    Helga Hansen´s last blog post was: Curtain Call (Note: 6000 miles… is not responsible for the content of external internet sites)

  2. Fleet > It is brilliant, isn’t it.
    Very hopeful that global warming will bring them to South Africa.
    HH > Snap.

    Stan > If you have one to hand, yes. I think I might be more tempted with my rock option though.

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