Saturday, March 14, 2009

A Science Moment

The coconut crab, Birgus latro, is the largest land-living arthropod in the world and is probably at the limit of how big terrestrial animals with exoskeletons can get under the prevailing conditions. Their body is divided into four regions; the cephalic lobe, forepart, trunk, and opisthosoma. It is a highly apomorphic hermit crab and is known for its ability to crack coconuts with its strong pincers in order to eat the contents. It is the only species of the genus Birgus.

It is also called the robber crab or palm thief, because some coconut crabs are rumored to steal shiny items such as pots and silverware from houses and tents. There is one report from a fan of Calvinistic Cartoons, Bebo Stanks, who claims a coconut crab robbed him at gunpoint and stole his Honda Civic.


  1. If you Google this creature you will find they also climb trees! I think I would carry a golf club with me if I lived in that area of the globe.

  2. It is a highly apomorphic hermit crab....also called the robber crab or palm thief

    No matter where you are in the world, hermits are a nuisance when they come down off their mountain.

    "Shower 'em, shave 'em, and send 'em on their way," I always say.

  3. Yes but how does it taste with a little clarified butter and lemon?

  4. Crab legs anyone?.....

    Aw nuts! PD beat me to it =p.

  5. My kids were so fascinated by this that we spent hours researching them. I do not think a golf club would do you any good however. Steamroller?

  6. Frightening...wouldn't want to run into something like that when I take out the trash in my sandals


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