The Largest Land Crab, the Coconut Crab
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The Largest Land Crab, the Coconut Crab

Coconut crabs are the largest of all land crabs and are one of the largest crabs in the world.

Coconut crabs are large crabs that live on land. They are the largest of all land crabs and are one of the largest crabs in the world. They are closely related to hermit crabs, but are not from the same family as them; coconut crabs are so unique that they are the only species in their family. Coconut crabs get their name from their use of coconuts as both their major food source and protection for their dens. In the wild, coconut crabs can be found throughout the Indo-Pacific islands, but as they have been gaining popularity as a pet, they can also occasionally be found in pet stores worldwide.

Coconut crabs are quite large and can be a little scary and imposing to some people. Their bodies are usually about 16 inches long with legs that can grow to lengths of three feet; they usually weigh around nine pounds when full grown. Males are slightly larger than females, which is uncommon with most crustaceans. Their long legs allow them to climb trees to escape predators and find food, and their claws are very powerful, allowing them to crack coconut shells open and inflict serious wounds on both predators and prey. Unlike most crabs, coconut crabs cannot breathe underwater, nor can they breathe air with no moisture in it. Coconut crabs will suffocate if the air has no moisture in it.

Coconut crabs are omnivores; their diet includes fresh fruit, coconuts, seeds, rotten fruit, dead carcasses, small lizards and small fish, small crabs, turtle hatchlings, and even rats. They have also been known to eat the remains of people; some historians believe that coconut crabs devoured the body Amelia Earhart, hence why her remains were never found. Coconut crabs have a well-developed sense of smell and can smell rotting food from long distances away. Coconut crabs will also raid other coconut crabs homes and steal their food. Large lizards, birds, large rodents, and humans hunt coconut crabs. 

Coconut crabs are very interesting and unique creatures. They are not normally aggressive towards humans, but will defend themselves if they feel threatened. Although coconut crabs do not pose a serious threat to humans, they can become a nuisance, especially to those that live in close proximity. Coconut crabs love shiny objects and have been known to break into people’s homes in search of food and leave with pots or pans or anything else they can get their long legs on.

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