20 Incredible Coconut Crab Photos



Image: Bo Floyd

Imagine you are lying in a hammock on the beach, relaxing and enjoying a spot of fresh air, when suddenly a ten-legged beast, measuring about three feet across, starts slowly climbing up the palm tree in front of you, or, worse, drops down right next to you. It’d almost be enough to make you drop your piña colada with horror and run for cover. The coconut crab, the largest crab on land, and indeed world’s largest land-based arthropod, can have that effect on people.


Image: Angelo O’Connor Villagomez

Coconut crabs, also known as robber crabs or palm thieves, might be large – the length of their bodies alone can extend upwards of a foot – but sadly their numbers are not. These huge creatures were once quite plentiful, but thanks to human appetites for crabmeat, they are now on the IUCN Red List as Data Deficient, meaning we don’t know exactly how many are left but that the numbers are most likely low.

Here, we’d like to share some amazing pictures and a few equally amazing facts about these unusual crabs, all of which demonstrates that they’re definitely a species worth preserving.

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