Oct 5, 2008

You May Have My Watch

Karen reminded me of one of my favorite creatures on the planet. The coconut crab. You needn't worry about encountering one of these in the wild unless you live on one of the several islands in the central Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean that they inhabit.

Also known as the terrestrial hermit crab, they are also called robber crabs and palm thief crabs, evidently because they have a habit of stealing shiny things, much like my toddler son. Unlike my toddler son, these crustaceans have a three foot (1m) leg span, weigh in at about 37 lbs (17kg), and are equipped with claws powerful enough to crack coconuts open (they love eating and drinking the innards). Robber crab, you may have my watch. I didn't like it that much anyway.

I'm not sure what this crab is trying to accomplish on this pillar. Maybe it's a Samson-style tearing down of the temple. If there was one crab who could pull it off, the coconut crab would be the one.

13 comments:

stormydragon said...

It probably mistook that pole for a tree and climbed up it looking for cocnuts. Now the dejected an coconutless crab is climbing back down.

morgan said...

I've always associated them with being very young and watching Sir David's Miracle of Life series on tape, which I requested over and over again.

In this picture, it looks less like the pleasant bumbly crab I know and more like a termite who went away to the gym for ten years and is now returning to take revenge on the heads of all his middle school bullies.

niner said...

I love these things! ...And would be completely clueless of their existence if not for this website.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

NOM!!!!!!1!

LisaL said...

Same here niner. I never knew these existed until I saw them posted here.
I think they're pretty neat, but I'd probably freak out if I ever saw one lol.

Raging Wombat said...

My pleasure, niner. I wouldn't have known about them if not for this blog, too.

Flartus said...

I don't know if it's a misplaced modifier, or my Monday morning befuzzlement, but for a second I thought the coconut crab was likely to nab your shiny son. I thought you seemed awfully cavalier about it...oops!

On the other hand, I'm confident that your son is much better looking than this cranky fellow.

Kit said...

Someone give this coconut crab a lime. He's obviously spent his entire life trying to find them.

Joe said...

A small factoid I read somewhere (probably from one of Sir David's books): local villagers in the Pacific islands tie grass high up around coconut tree trunks. The robber crab, when clambering down the tree, feels the grass and lets go, thinking that it is a grass-length away from terra firma. The villagers then collect the pieces.

meg said...

"Honey, we're moving. This is the crab's house now."

Little Tart said...

Do they taste good? That's a lot of California Rolls.

Vanessa said...

1 metre and 37lbs! He could have my watch, wallet, and anything else he wanted. Pretty creepy tyke.

Claudia said...

OMG that thing is HUGE!!!!!!!!! Holy crap, I never dreamed!!!

ugh, now tonight, I probably will thanks to my visit here. *shudder*