Robber Crab


Robber crabs are also known as Coconut crabs or the Palm Thief.

Coconut crabs are generalist scavengers that feed on fallen fruit, carrion, and (to ingest calcium) the shells of other crabs.
The coconut crab is known for its ability to use its massive pincers (chelae) to crack open coconuts.
The largest coconut crabs can exert a force of 3,300 newtons (about 742 pound-force) with their pincers.
Coconut crabs have also been known to open coconuts by dropping them from trees and striking them repeatedly with their pincers or using their pincers to pierce the coconut’s husk before splitting the seed open.”

‘Coconut crab – crustacean’ Britannica [ii]

The Robber Crab climbs coconut trees with it’s big claws, then hammers a hole through the coconut’s ‘eye’ and then scoops out the contents with set of small claws specially adapted for the task.

A Robber Crab on the sand.
A Robber Crab on the sand. [i]

The right tools for the job!
Designed, or trial and error?

I would suggest that the Robber Crab was given the tools for the job and the knowledge to do it by God the great Designer.

The coconut crab can take a coconut from the ground and cut it to a husk nut, take it with its claw, climb up a tree 10 m (33 ft) high and drop the husk nut, to access the coconut flesh inside.
They often descend from the trees by falling, and can survive a fall of at least 4.5 m (15 ft) unhurt.
Coconut crabs cut holes into coconuts with their strong claws and eat the contents, although it can take several days before the coconut is opened…
The animal has developed a special technique to do so; if the coconut is still covered with husk, it will use its claws to rip off strips, always starting from the side with the three germination pores, the group of three small circles found on the outside of the coconut.
Once the pores are visible, the coconut crab bangs its pincers on one of them until it breaks.
Afterwards, it turns around and uses the smaller pincers on its other legs to pull out the white flesh of the coconut.
Using their strong claws, larger individuals can even break the hard coconut into smaller pieces for easier consumption.”

‘Coconut crab’ Wikipedia [iii]

[i] Photo credit: David Stanley on Flickr.
[ii] ‘Coconut crab – crustacean’ Britannica
[iii] ‘Coconut crab’ Wikipedia

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