Today I want to write about an incredible species of crab, the coconut crab.
Here are five interesting facts about them:
- These huge crabs grow very large, with a legspan of up to 1 metre across. They come in a wide range of colours, from red to blue and the males are much larger than the females.
- They use their massive claws to open up the husks of coconuts so that they can eat the flesh inside. They are also excellent climbers and have been seen climbing coconut palms so that they can cut down coconuts.
- Coconut crabs are a kind of hermit crab, but only the young use other shells like most hermit crabs. Larger coconut crabs are able to grow a hardened exoskeleton to protect themselves. They need to moult their shell every year and hide in burrows while their skin hardens again.
- Although they spend most of their time on land and only the larvae can swim, they still require water to breathe. They have special organs that need to be kept moist to work properly, so they regularly dip their back legs in water and rub them over their unusual gills.
- Coconut crabs are found on a large number of islands in the Indian and central Pacific Oceans, hiding in burrows and crevices near the coast. They can also live for up to 60 years.
I hope that you found these facts interesting and learned something new.
Are there any other interesting facts that you would like to share about coconut crabs?