Coconut Crab| Amazing Facts Recipes And Habitat

Coconut crab is one of the giant crabs in the world. These crabs are terrestrial arthropods derived from hermit crabs which are known for their ability to crack coconut crabs with their strong pincers. It is also known as the Robber crab and Palm thief because coconut crabs appear to steal shiny items. 

Coconut crabs are land-dwelling arthropods and spend all of their life on land. They have matchless strength and can lift objects the weight of a 10-year-old child. Let me explain all about coconut crabs. Keep reading this blog post.

The physical appearance of coconut crabs

The physical appearance of coconut crabs:

Studies show much evidence of the size of coconut crabs, weight up to 4 kg and body length up to 400 mm. Their leg span is about 1 m, and males are more significant than females.

Some studies show that their weight is up to 17 kg, and coconut crabs can live up to 30-60 years.  

The body of coconut crabs is decapod and divided into parts; the front section contains ten legs and an abdomen. The front-most legs possess more enormous claws used to open and eat coconut, and these claws can pick up objects up to 29 kg in weight. 

The following three pairs have smaller chelae at the end and are used for walking. In addition, these unique adaptations enable them to climb up vertically to 6 m high. The last pair of legs are smaller than the others and are used only to clean the breathing organs.

Coconut crabs are not able to swim and drown in water. They use branchiostegal lungs for breathing. The chambers of the breathing organ are present in the cephalothorax. They have a tissue which is the same as found in gills and absorb oxygen from the air instead of water.

Coconut crabs use their last legs to breathe and moisturise them with sweat. These organs need water to work, and the crabs give this by stroking their wetted legs above the spongy tissues nearby. Coconut crabs can also drink salt water using the same techniques to move water to their mouths.

Habitat Of Coconut Crab:

Coconut crabs reside alone under sand caves and rock crevices. During the day, the animal hides to save itself from predators and lower the water loss from heat. While resting in the caves, the coconut crab closes the opening door with the help of its claws to create moisture. 

In those areas where a large number of coconut crabs live, some crabs come out during the daytime in search of food. Coconut crabs may also come out during rainy days because they breathe comfortably. They live on land and also present up to 6 km from the ocean.


Coconut crabs primarily feed on fruits, coconut and figs. They can eat organic things like leaves, tortoise eggs, rotten fruits and dead animals, which supply calcium. 

During a tagging experiment, one coconut crab was noticed catching and eating Polynesia rats. Coconut crabs try to thieve food from each other and drag the food into their burrows to be secure while eating.

The coconut crabs ascend to trees to eat coconut and to escape the heat and predators. These crabs are not active predators and do not have enough plans to act. Coconut crabs penetrate holes of coconut with their claws and consume the content; this behaviour is unique in the particular kingdom.

Other crabs in the ocean feed dead animals, the flesh of the other dead crabs, marine worms and that sort of thing.

Reproduction of coconut crab

Reproduction Of Coconut Crab:

Coconut crabs often mate on dry land from May to September. The male and female coconut crabs fight, and the male rolls the female on her back to mate. 

The mating process completes in almost 15 minutes. The female crab lays eggs, glues them in their abdomen, and carries fertilized eggs for a few months when conceiving, generally from October to November. The female coconut crab delivers eggs into the ocean at high tides. These larvae are known as Zoeas. It has been studied that coconut crabs do this on the same night, simultaneously with numerous females on the shore.

The larvae float in the sea for about 28 days, during which a lot of them are eaten by predators. After that, they live on the seafloor and the coast as hermit crabs, using drop shells for protection for about 28 days.

Later, they sometimes visit dry land. Like other hermit crabs, they replace their shells as they grow. After 28 days, they leave the ocean entirely and lose the capability to breathe in water. Young coconut crabs that cannot search for a seashell of the right size also frequently use broken coconut pieces.

When they grow out from coconut shells, they develop a hardened abdomen. The coconut crab matures and can reproduce about 4 to 8 years after birth. This is a long development time for crustaceans.

How strong is a coconut crab?

If you want to open a coconut crab, you will know that it can be challenging, but not for coconut crabs.

The coconut crab’s pincer grip may be much more powerful than a human’s. Scientists noticed the force exerted by 29 wild coconut crabs accidentally getting themselves pinched many times in this process and found the highest power of over 1765 newtons. The giant crab, the more influential the pincer force. When they are fully grown, the highest authority will be 3300 newtons.

Coconut crab and humans

Coconut crab and humans:

The exact knowledge about coconut crab species is absent. Coconut crabs don’t have a lot of predators, but they face a significant threat from humans.

They are giant crabs but do not have a lot of meat. It is hard to tell that you should save the species when it’s their food source.

Another threat to coconut crabs is the complete loss of their habitat. Many communities of coconut crabs depend upon how low-lying island atolls. Climate change is a significant threat to the coconut habitat.


We concluded that coconut crabs are terrestrial and spend most of their lives on land. The best way to hunt them on moonless nights. Coconut crabs are appreciated due to their strength. Coconut crabs are aggressive; they can attack if they are threatened. They are not poisonous themselves because of their diet. They are not commercial products and are not sold out.

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