The coconut crab habitat is in the coastal of small islands in East Africa up to the South Pacific. On some islands, they can be found up to six kilometres from the shore. Anything left unattended on the ground is a potential source of food, which they will investigate and may carry away—thereby getting the alternative name of "robber crab." I lived on Saipan for about 9 months in the early 90's, and have seen them a number of times crossing the roads on the remote part of the island. We will explain where do coconut crabs live and some more fun facts about them. However, as they are omnivores, they will consume other organic materials such as tortoise hatchlings and dead animals. Coconut crabs are the largest terrestrial arthropods currently living on earth. Like other hermit crabs, juvenile coconut crabs use empty gastropod shells for protection, but the adults develop a tough exoskeleton on their abdomens and stop carrying a shell.  In the Northern Mariana Islands, hunting of non-egg-bearing adults above a carapace length of 76 mm (3.0 in) may take place in September, October, and November, and only under licence. The animal has five pairs of legs, with the … The coconut crab can be found in Pukapuka, one of the most isolated islands in the Pacific. Charles Darwin believed it was only found on "a single coral island north of the Society group".
On many occasions human beings complain about this situation, but we must remember that we are the ones who destroy or pollute their habitat.In general, coconut crabs like to live among the cracks of the rocks, and in burrows made in the sand, although these preferences change in some occasions depending on the places available.
Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.The crabmeat is a local delicacy, and the crab is at risk because of demand for its flesh in some parts of its range. They dig these holes in loose soil or sand.  In 2018, IUCN updated its assessment to "vulnerable". They begin life as microscopic larvae in the ocean. Coconut crabs live on remote coral atolls and tropical islands throughout the Indo-Pacific. They have an acute sense of smell, which has developed convergently with that of insects, and which they use to find potential food sources. shully. Its large size and the quality of its meat means that the coconut crab is extensively hunted and is very rare on islands with a human population.  Upon reaching the glaucothoe stage of development, they settle to the bottom, find and wear a suitably sized gastropod shell, and migrate to the shoreline with other terrestrial hermit crabs.  In 2016, a large coconut crab was observed climbing a tree to disable and consume a red-footed booby on the Chagos Archipelago. They can rip a coconut apart. Adult coconut crabs live alone in crevices or burrows. That’s how they got their name.  In the 1980s, Holger Rumpf was able to confirm Streets' report, observing and studying how they open coconuts in the wild. - Habitat and Distribution, Where Do Lemurs Live? They can weight up more than 4 kilos (9 pounds) and, when measured from leg to leg, they can be up to 1 meter (3' 3'') long. They are typically found in coastal forests with plenty of rock crevices and soil for digging burrows.  Shortly thereafter, the female lays her eggs and glues them to the underside of her abdomen, carrying the fertilised eggs underneath her body for a few months.  The olfactory system in the coconut crab's brain is well-developed compared to other areas of the brain. They inhabit Coastal regions however local extinction is occurring in areas that crabs are forced to live in symmetry with man. , In the Pacific, the coconut crab's range became known gradually.  The process of smelling works very differently depending on whether the smelled molecules are hydrophilic molecules in water or hydrophobic molecules in air. Mating occurs on dry land, but the females return to the edge of the sea to release their fertilized eggs, and then retreat back up the beach. During the day, the animal stays hidden to reduce water loss from heat. This heavy-set species also inhabits Christmas Island, where the best specimens are likely to be found, and the Seychelles, located in the same ocean. They have these coconut crabs in the island of Saipan (an US territory island right next to Guam). , Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean has the largest and densest population of coconut crabs in the world, although it is outnumbered there by more than 50 times by the Christmas Island red crab, Gecarcoidea natalis.  The coconut crab is far more widespread, though it is not abundant on every Pacific island it inhabits. Report inappropriate content . Adult coconut crabs are about 1 metre (40 inches) from leg tip to leg tip and weigh about 4.5 kg (10 pounds). The larvae float in the pelagic zone of the ocean with other plankton for 3–4 weeks, during which a large number of them are eaten by predators. , Thomas Hale Streets discussed the behaviour in 1877, doubting that the animal would climb trees to get at the coconuts. Researchers such as marine biologist Shin-ichiro Oka monitor the coconut crabs in Okinawa.  Some evidence indicates the coconut crab once lived on the mainlands of Australia and Madagascar and on the island of Mauritius, but it no longer occurs in any of these places. Their pinchers can easily break fingers. , While the coconut crab itself is not innately poisonous, it may become so depending on its diet, and cases of coconut crab poisoning have occurred. The genus Birgus was erected in 1816 by William Elford Leach, containing only Linnaeus' Cancer latro, which was thus renamed Birgus latro. Click to attach a photo related to your comment. Coconut crabs flick their antennae as insects do to enhance their reception. Vanuatu is one of the last places in the world where you can still find coconut crabs in relative abundance, wandering around the outer islands, ripping whole coconuts apart with their huge, powerful claws. The coconut crab is one of 500 species of hermit crabs in the world. The smells of rotting meat, bananas, and coconuts, all potential food sources, catch their attention especially. This crustacean lives in burrows, crevices and between rocks.  They reach their maximum size only after 40 to 60 years.  This usually takes place on rocky shores at dusk, especially when this coincides with high tide. German: Palmendieb). Although it lives in a burrow, the crab has been filmed climbing coconut and pandanus trees.  The coconut crab is eaten as a delicacy and an aphrodisiac on various islands, and intensive hunting has threatened the species' survival in some areas. In this AnimalWised article we are going to talk a little about the coconut crab so you can learn more about this incredibly interesting species. Coconut crabs are primarily adapted to terrestrial environments. Scientist Mark Laidre described their attack strategy in horrific detail.It was on an island where the birds had learned to live in fear. Coconut crabs do, too. The larvae that hatch are planktonic for 3–4 weeks, before settling to the sea floor, entering a gastropod shell and returning to dry land.  While insects and the coconut crab originate from different paths, the same need to detect smells in the air led to the development of remarkably similar organs. You can find them in most tropical waters, mainly in the Red Sea, Indo-Pacific, Australia, and Japan, and they feed mainly on fish and sponges.  For instance, consumption of the sea mango, Cerbera manghas, by the coconut crab may make the coconut crab toxic due to the presence of cardiac cardenolides.  Birgus is classified in the family Coenobitidae, alongside one other genus, Coenobita, which contains the terrestrial hermit crabs..  At that time, they sometimes visit dry land.
Their mating takes place on earth, between the months of This peculiar process takes around fifteen minutes. The coconut crab reaches sexual maturity around 5 years after hatching. 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-2.RLTS.T2811A126813586.en, "Part I – Lithodoidea, Lomisoidea and Paguroidea (Annotated checklist of anomuran decapod crustaceans of the world (exclusive of the Kiwaoidea and families Chirostylidae and Galatheidae of the Galatheoidea", "Physical and biological characteristics", "Maldives-Lakshadweep-Chagos Archipelago tropical moist forests (IM0125)", "Terrestrial adaptations in the Anomura (Crustacea: Decapoda)", "The neural and behavioral basis of chemical communication in terrestrial crustaceans", "Insect-like olfactory adaptations in the terrestrial giant robber crab", "Brain architecture of the largest living land arthropod, the Giant Robber Crab, International Union for Conservation of Nature, "United Kingdom, British Indian Ocean Territory", "Some account of the natural history of the Fanning group of islands", 10.1651/0278-0372(2001)021[0317:SAWBIF]2.0.CO;2, "Giant coconut crab sneaks up on a sleeping bird and kills it", Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, "Transition from water to land in decapod crustaceans", "A giant spider that can crack a coconut? The coconut crab, known scientifically as Birgus latro, does not take its name from it appearance. The organs require water to properly function, and the coconut crab provides this by stroking its wet legs over the spongy tissues nearby.  The coconut crabs' burrows contain very fine yet strong fibres of the coconut husk which the animal uses as bedding. Level Contributor . The coconut crabs can be included in the group of beach crabs because although they are born in the sea, once they land, they only return to reproduce and die.  As they cannot swim as adults, coconut crabs must have colonised the islands as planktonic larvae. Similarly, floating coconuts can be a very significant part of the crab's dispersal options.
They carry out this 30 days process in a burrow, in order to be properly protected against their predators. Afterwards, it turns around and uses the smaller pincers on its other legs to pull out the white flesh of the coconut. . ] Coconut crabs have organs known as branchiostegal lungs, which are used instead of the vestigial gills for breathing, and after the juvenile stage they will drown if immersed in water for too long.  The empty egg cases remain on the female's body after the larvae have been released, and the female eats the egg cases within a few days. They have to live near salt water and are especially vulnerable to loss of habitat due to coastal development.  The animal has developed a special technique to do so; if the coconut is still covered with husk, it will use its claws to rip off strips, always starting from the side with the three germination pores, the group of three small circles found on the outside of the coconut. Other times, they emerge if it is moist or raining, since these conditions allow them to breathe more easily. No, it's a crab! Due to the slow growth rate, the number is decreasing day by day.  Large populations exist on the Cook Islands, especially Pukapuka, Suwarrow, Mangaia, Takutea, Mauke, Atiu, and Palmerston Island. Adult coconut crabs feed primarily on fleshy fruits, nuts, seeds, and the pith of fallen trees, but they will eat carrion and other organic matter opportunistically. Coconut Crabs also live off the coast of Africa near Zanzibar, and the Gambier islands in the Eastern Pacific Ocean. If you live close to a coastal area, join a local branch or group … Unlike some of its relatives the coconut crab also covers its abdomen with shells, as its body is softer than other species. The front-most pair of legs has large chelae (claws), with the left being larger than the right. In general, however, the crabs have more reason to fear us than we do them. Coconut crabs have also been found in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (India), the Bay of Bengal including Sri Lanka, and the Society Islands, which form part of French Polynesia. It can grow to up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in length from each tip to tip of the leg. At the time of hatching, the female coconut crab releases the eggs into the ocean. Adult coconut crabs are about 1 metre 40 inches from leg tip to leg tip and weigh about 45 kg 10 pounds.  After moulting, 1 to 3 weeks are needed for the exoskeleton to harden, depending on the animal's size, during which time the animal's body is soft and vulnerable, and it stays hidden for protection. , B. latro is the largest terrestrial arthropod, and indeed terrestrial invertebrate, in the world; reports about its size vary, but most sources give a body length up to 40 cm (16 in), a weight up to 4.1 kg (9.0 lb), and a leg span more than 0.91 m (3.0 ft), with males generally being larger than females. Afterwards, they leave the ocean permanently and lose the ability to breathe in water. The species is popularly associated with the coconut palm, yet coconuts are not a significant part of its diet. If you want to read similar articles to Where do Coconut Crabs Live?, we recommend you visit our Facts about the animal kingdom category.  They have been observed to prey upon crabs such as Gecarcoidea natalis and Discoplax hirtipes, as well as scavenge on the carcasses of other coconut crabs.  The hardened abdomen protects the coconut crab and reduces water loss on land, but must be moulted periodically. At up to 1 m 3 ft long coconut crabs are not simply the largest land crabs. The coconut crab can be found in Pukapuka, one of the most isolated islands in the Pacific. Common Habitat of the Coconut Crabs In general, coconut crabs like to live among the cracks of the rocks, and in burrows made in the sand, although these preferences change in some occasions depending on the places available.  Coconut crabs use their hindmost, smallest pair of legs to clean these breathing organs and to moisten them with water.  Coconut crabs cut holes into coconuts with their strong claws and eat the contents, although it can take several days before the coconut is opened. Using their strong claws, larger individuals can even break the hard coconut into smaller pieces for easier consumption. , The body of the coconut crab is, like that of all decapods, divided into a front section (cephalothorax), which has 10 legs, and an abdomen. All are decapod crustaceans (order Decapoda, class Crustacea). Coconut crabs may drink water from small puddles by transferring it from their chelipeds to their maxillipeds. ", "Biological studies on the coconut crab (, "Male maturity, number of sperm, and spermatophore size relationships in the coconut crab, "Management implications of a coconut crab (, "A summary of the deep-sea zoological work of the Royal Indian Marine Survey ship Investigator from 1884 to 1897", Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, "Evolution, systematics, and geographical distribution", Chagos Archipelago, British Indian Ocean Territory, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Coconut_crab&oldid=1004424644, Articles containing Cook Islands Māori-language text, Articles containing Chamorro-language text, Articles containing Japanese-language text, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Coconut crabs live on most coasts in the blue area; red points are primary and yellow points secondary places of settlement, This page was last edited on 2 February 2021, at 14:47. They remain inside their burrows during the day to reduce water loss from their bodies. It is the largest land-living arthropod in the world, with a weight up to 4.1 kg (9.0 lb). there claws are rated at 5000 Newton’s the same as a lions. In fact, this species of arthropod is known to feed on coconuts, which it opens with its pincers. Crabs live in many different habitats ranging from the deep sea to high tide level, including sandy shores, mudflats and estuarine areas, rock pools and rocky crevices and some species prefer to hide inside mussels and seaweed. Although you may not believe it, crabs can even use abandoned houses to inhabit them. Bohemien. , Coconut crabs are considered one of the most terrestrial-adapted of the decapods, with most aspects of its life oriented to, and centered around such an existence; they will actually drown in sea water in less than a day. Coconut Crab compilation11.com. They stayed up at the tops of the trees, never daring to touch down onto the ground below where they knew the powerful pincers of the coconut crabs were waiting to crush their bones. French Polynesia Destination Experts. As with all hermit crabs, they change their shells as they grow. Coconut crabs don’t usually bother people, but they will if provoked. The crab louse usually is found in the person's pubic hair. The crabs, which live on islands in the Pacific … In the 3–4 weeks that the larvae remain at sea, their chances of reaching another suitable location is enhanced if a floating life support system avails itself to them. They live in rock crevices and in underground burrows. Hamara. , The coconut crab has been known to western scientists since the voyages of Francis Drake around 1580 and William Dampier around 1688. Although these gills are comparable in number to aquatic species from the families Paguridae and Diogenidae, they are reduced in size and have comparatively less surface area. As the story goes, Earh [ . Is it Legal to Own a Wolf-Dog? , In Tuvalu, coconut crabs live on the motu (islets) in the Funafuti Conservation Area, a marine conservation area covering 33 km2 (12.74 mi2mi) of reef, lagoon and motu on the western side of Funafuti atoll. The coconut crab can be found all across the Indian Ocean, the place where it is most abundant. Adults moult annually, and dig a burrow up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) long in which to hide while vulnerable. After digging their nests, they bring the finest fibers of coconut husks inside which they use as bedding.  Coconut crabs live alone in burrows and rock crevices, depending on the local terrain. If you live in North America, you likely will never come face-to-face with a coconut crab. Richmond, Virginia. ... Can I get a job and live in French Polynesia? Habitat and Distribution. We always joked about pick one up … In Japan, coconut crabs are also sold as pets, and sometimes people raise them and feed them until they can eat be eaten, as we commonly do with pigs and chickens in Western countries. In addition to many other records, she was the first women to fly solo across the Atlantic ocean. , Conservation management strategies have been put in place in some regions, such as minimum legal size limit restrictions in Guam and Vanuatu, and a ban on the capture of egg-bearing females in Guam and the Federated States of Micronesia. This and other crabs of terrestrial habits inhabit burrows that they dig in the sand, or on a surface that is not so hard for them. These are the biggest land-living arthropods. in japan they are sold as street food and sometimes live. Common names for the species include coconut crab, robber crab, and palm thief, which mirrors the animal's name in other European languages (e.g. , Coconut crabs live in the Indian Ocean and the central Pacific Ocean, with a distribution that closely matches that of the coconut palm. No film shows a crab selectively picking coconut fruit, though they might dislodge ripe fruit that otherwise would fall naturally. , The pincers of the coconut crab are powerful enough to cause noticeable pain to a human; furthermore, the coconut crab often keeps its hold for extended periods of time. Other crabs have adapted to live holes that they dig on land land crabs and inhabit the forest floor or forage in trees eg the coconut crab.  Coconut crabs occur on several of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal. However, as more data is gathered, scientists have begun to speculate that these powerful crustaceans may hold clues about the disappearance of one of the world’s greatest aviation pioneers. vote now » Coconut crab, (Birgus latro), also called robber crab, large nocturnal land crab of the southwest Pacific and Indian oceans.  The carapace may reach a length of 78 mm (3.1 in), and a width up to 200 mm (7.9 in). The coconut crab is the only species of the genus Birgus, and is related to the terrestrial hermit crabs of the genus Coenobita. They live alone in their burrows and tend to keep their distance from other coconut crabs unless they’re mating.  It remains in the burrow for 3 to 16 weeks, depending on the size of the animal.  The next two pairs, as with other hermit crabs, are large, powerful walking legs with pointed tips, which allow coconut crabs to climb vertical or overhanging surfaces. The diet of coconut crabs consists primarily of fleshy fruits (particularly Ochrosia ackeringae, Arenga listeri, Pandanus elatus, P. christmatensis); nuts (Aleurites moluccanus), drupes (Cocos nucifera) and seeds (Annona reticulata); and the pith of fallen trees.