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The Coconut Crab
The coconut crab is the largest living arthropod in the world. It can be up to 16 inches long and weigh up to nine pounds. The body of the crab is divided into multiple sections. The front section includes ten legs. The legs at the front of the crab have claws. The second set of legs are large and used for walking.
Coconut crabs mate on dry land from May to September. The female lays her eggs and adheres them to the underside of her body. She carries the eggs for a few months until, just before they hatch, she releases them into the ocean. The larvae float in the ocean for a few weeks, then hatch.
The coconut crab eats mostly fleshy fruits. They have also been observed preying on smaller crabs and on the bodies of dead coconut crabs. They have even been observed eating small rats.
Coconut crabs are an endangered species. They are native to Guam and Vanuatu, where hunting restrictions have been put in place so that the crabs are not hunted into extinction.
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