5 Interesting Facts About Christmas Island Red Crabs

Christmas Island red crab

Here are hundreds of Christmas Island red crabs on their annual migration

Merry Christmas everyone!  Today I am writing about a festive animal called the Christmas Island red crab.

Here are five interesting facts about them: 

  1. These wonderful, bright red crabs grow to about 11 cm wide.  Males are slightly larger than females.
  2. They eat almost anything that they can get their pincers on, including leaves, fruit, flowers, seedlings and dead animals (including other crabs).
  3. When the wet season starts, tens of millions of Christmas Island red crabs begin one of the great animal migrations as they leave their forests and march for several days until they reach the ocean to breed.  Many of them will get run over and puncture tyres with their sharp pincers, so the island has built a lot of bridges at roads to help protect the crabs and cars during the annual migration.
  4. After the females release the eggs into the water, the eggs hatch into larvae.  Over the next few weeks, they go through several larval stages until they eventually emerge from the sea as tiny crabs only 5 mm across.  They scuttle to the centre of the island where they are rarely seen for the first three years of their lives until they become much bigger.
  5. Despite being confined to Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Island, they are an abundant species.  However the accidental introduction of the yellow crazy ant has dramatically reduced their numbers.

I hope that you found these facts interesting, learned something new and have a merry Christmas.

Are there any other interesting facts that you would like to share about Christmas Island red crabs?

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