COCONUT CRAB - (Birgus latro)
- The largest land-living arthropod in the world, and is probably at the upper size limit of terrestrial animals with exoskeletons in today’s atmosphere. (That’s a coconut it’s wrangling)
- The species inhabits the coastal forest regions of many Indo-Pacific islands, although localized extinction has occurred where the species lives in proximity to humans.
- Generally nocturnal, they remain hidden during the day and emerge only on some nights to forage.
- 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 to eat the contents.
- 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.
- Except as larvae, coconut crabs cannot swim, and even small specimens will drown in water.
- They use a special organ called a branchiostegal lung to breathe. This organ can be interpreted as a developmental stage between gills and lungs, and is one of the most significant adaptations of the coconut crab to its habitat. The branchiostegal lung contains a tissue similar to that found in gills, but suited to the absorption of oxygen from air, rather than water.
Fact Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coconut_crab
Other photos you might enjoy:
Coconut Crab - you can see how big it is on the side of a garbage can
Coconut Crab - nice shot by njwight
Hermit Crab in a glass shell
Submitted by jasvindersingh