The Coconut Crab Kills Birds And Breaks Bones – And May Have Eaten Amelia Earhart. Goldenrod crab spider, belonging to this family, can change its color to camouflage with the flower they stay. Coconut crabs are also called robber crabs – for a good reason! Vanuatu coconut crabs are the largest and most powerful land crabs on the planet (only the Japanese spider crab is bigger – but it lives in the deep ocean!). Vanuatu coconut crabs can’t swim – but their babies can! A theory soon emerged she had likely perished somewhere on this stretch of beach, possibly through an encounter with the frightening coconut crab. As a result they are classed as Data Deficient by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, meaning we do not know enough to say whether or not they are threatened. But that is changing rapidly as feral pests like rats are introduced and over-harvesting occurs as the result of tourism demands – so please, if you are offered coconut crab in any restaurant in Vanuatu please ensure it has been harvested sustainably before eating it! These crabs shed their exoskeletons to grow new ones. They’ve been known to hunt and kill birds, to tear apart live pigs, and even to cannibalize the corpses of other coconut crabs. Wikimedia CommonsAmelia Earhart shortly before her death. Apparently their overall size and strength of the coconut crab is so stunning, even Charles Darwin doubted the stories of the locals while visiting the Keeling Islands off the coast of Sumatra in 1836. Despite its intimidating size, the robber crab is more of an opportunist than a predator. Usually, of course, they don’t use them on humans. As for their large front claws, they are capable of lfting vegetation or rocks weighing up to 60 pounds. It will take repeated surveys over a few years to determine that. Vanuatu coconut crabs have to first use their claws to pull away the tough outer husk. There are several observations of coconut crabs eating rats. Since then, we’ve found out that every story about what this horrifying-looking creature can do is more or less true. The coconut crab isn’t just scary-looking: its claws are powerful enough to rip open a coconut, it can climb trees, and it may just be the animal that devoured Amelia Earhart. The coconut crab is the largest land-living arthropod in the world. 3. Coconut Crabs in Bora Bora. Japanese spider crabs ( Macrocheira kaempferi ), the biggest arthropods, skitter around on the bottom of the ocean without bothering anybody, but coconut crabs hang out on land, and therefore are able to startle us with their size: They can weigh up to 9 pounds (4 kilograms), with a leg span of around 3 feet (1 meter). Just three years later, researchers discovered a piece of bone on an island in the area which seemed to match the location and condition of those belonging to the missing pilot. April 24, 2011. The females release the hatchlings into the ocean waves after which the tiny, floating larvae are totally on their own. He believed the natives were playing a trick on him until he finally glimpsed one for himself. 4. A coconut crab in New Zealand. Each crab took a limb or a hunk of meat from the mutilated bird’s body back down to his underground lair, and there they fed. Coconut crab populations have never been properly surveyed, so we do not know how many there are or if they are in danger. But while some believe they are harmless beach combers, others have suspected them of much greater crimes. That being said, the crabs do sometimes turn the tables. For more Vanuatu travel and food tips see here . It’s how they get their food – by climbing to the tops of coconut trees and knocking them off. 7. Coconut crabs, Birgus latro, are the world's largest land-living arthropods. Found on tropical islands around the Indian Ocean and parts of the Pacific, these terrestrial critters can live anywhere from 30 to 60 years. Experts believe this practice provides a great deal of calcium for creatures' astounding growth. Color: It ranges from orange to white, brown to red. Wikimedia CommonsA coconut crab on the beach. They are the largest arthropods, the group that includes insects, spiders and crustaceans, that live on land. Also, spiders of the Camaricus genus showcase colorful bodies. The egg sac is purposely attached to vegetation for protection. Females are always bigger than males. At up to 1 m (3 ft) long, coconut crabs are not simply the largest land crabs. 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. Crab spiders do not build webs for catching preys. When they left the remains in the open, the crabs quickly picked them apart and scattered them around, similar to the way the alleged bones of Earhart were found. Spiderlings showcase the same coloration as adults’. In search of coconut husks, they would reach their fingers into their burrows, trying to steal the food the crabs had left behind. “The crab then approached the bird, grabbing and breaking its other wing,” he said. Tropical fruits, dead decaying animals, other crabs and sometimes each other – nothing is off limits to Vanuatu coconut crabs! Some speculate they may even have a connection to Amelia Earhart. The flower crab spiders are known for their beautiful patterns. Then the swarm came. Coconut crabs are actually supersized versions of cute and cuddly hermit crabs! Vanuatu coconut crabs are well known for sneaking off with cutlery, crockery, plates, pots and pans from houses and campsites. Although most people don't think about crabs as bone crushing, kitten-eating, mastadons of the tropics, most people have never met this terrestrial hermit crab. At up to 1 m (3 ft) long, coconut crabs are not simply the largest land crabs. It may take a coconut crab days to crack open a coconut. Like the red-footed booby, her blood would have lured the coconut crabs living in the island’s underground burrows. There’s a huge population of them on Christmas Island, but these things will be there pretty well anywhere you can find a coconut tree. “The booby had been sleeping on a low-lying branch, less than a meter up the tree. Okinawa is the northernmost habitat for the species. The strength they show when they eat them is unnerving, as they can tear a coconut apart with nothing more than their bare claws. Coconut and Spider crab breeds. They hibernate during the winter, and are nocturnal, so many Okinawans have never seen one. In fact, their claws can lift objects weighing as much as 28kgs. They searched for crabs on three atolls in the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean. Giant sea spider ocean treasures amazing nature 88 coconut crab get rid of crab spiders facts on where do coconut crabs liveThe Coconut Crab Might Be Scariest Crustacean EverCoconut Crabs Crustaceans On Steroids Howstuffworks10 Ginormous Facts About Coconut Crabs Mental FlossCoconut Crabs Eat Everything From Kittens To Maybe AmeliaCoconut Crab S Pinch Is Strongest In … Flies, butterflies, honeybees, and other insects, Around 1 year; in tropical areas the lifespan may be longer. Epic Wildlife/YouTube A gigantic coconut crab climbs a trash can. Coconut crabs Vanuatu. Plus bizarrely, they have even been known to eat themselves (i.e. In Darwin’s time, there were stories floating around about what these things could do. The unlucky would end up finding more than just coconuts. Study up on fun facts and fascinating trivia to drop at your next cocktail party. And if they do happen to bump into another coconut crab on their nocturnal excursions, they wave their claws at each other (in a kind of ritualised aggression) to maintain their own personal space. Earhart, it’s believed, crashed on the island and was left either bleeding or dead on its beach. 1. View image of A coconut crab, perhaps contemplating a spot of tree-climbing (Credit: Jon Slayer), View image of The eyes of a coconut thief (Credit: Jon Slayer), View image of North Brother, one of the islands in the Chagos Archipelago (Credit: Jon Slayer), View image of A coconut crab, tucking into (what else?) They can do some terrifying things with those powerful claws. While it has been known to eat more sizable delicacies like chickens, kittens, and carrion birds, it tends to scavenge only what has been left behind. Crab spiders of this family do not bite humans unless it is absolutely necessary for self-defense. The spiders carry their front two legs in a way that they look similar to crabs, and hence the name is given. This combination allows them to adeptly climb vertical surfaces, including trees. Coconut crabs can grow up to an incredible 1m (3ft) long and weigh over 4kgs. Sandra Teddy/Getty. A team of scientists ran a test in 2007 to see what the crabs would have done to her. Apparently their overall size and strength of the coconut crab is so stunning, even Charles Darwin doubted the stories of the locals while visiting the Keeling Islands off the coast of Sumatra in 1836. In the Chagos at least, the crabs should be relatively safe. Their pincers are so strong that they can hang off anything they can get a hold of for hours, be it the branches of a tree, the chains in a fence, or the walls around a home.