What Do Coconut Crabs Eat?

Although they’re massive, interesting creatures, coconut crabs are fierce predators with the strongest pinch between crustaceans! How do they use this force to get foods, and what precisely do they try to eat? Let’s obtain out!

What Are Coconut Crabs?

coconut crab walking in road
Coconut crabs are sometimes identified as robber crabs or palm thieves.


Coconut crabs (or Birgus latro) are the world’s largest terrestrial arthropods! They are terrestrial hermit crabs, at times identified as robber crabs or palm burglars. These crabs inhabit islands throughout the Indian Ocean and components of the Pacific Ocean. Some coconut crabs are uncovered in the vicinity of Zanzibar, off the coast of Africa.

Coconut crabs have an typical body duration of 16 inches and a body weight of up to nine kilos! Their leg span is additional than three feet – just imagine how massive they are!

Coconut crabs have a cephalothorax comprising the head, thorax, and stomach. They have ten legs: 

  • The front still left leg is bigger than the right, and each have large claws
  • The following two pairs are big and solid strolling legs that aid them climb vertical surfaces
  • The fourth pair is lesser and has claws resembling tweezers
  • The fifth pair is the smallest – males use it for mating and ladies for tending their eggs.

Most coconut crabs are blue, although some can be pink or purplish-blue. Their color relies upon on where by they reside. 

The coconut crab’s stomach protects them and minimizes drinking water loss on land. 

What Do Coconut Crabs Try to eat?

What Do Hermit Crabs Eat - Hermit Crab Eating Coconut
Coconut crabs take in fruits, seeds, drupes, nuts, and the pith of fallen trees.


Coconut crabs are omnivores. They largely take in fruits, seeds, drupes, nuts, and the pith of fallen trees. Here’s a checklist of particular matters they can eat:

  • Flowering crops named Ochrosia ackeringae
  • Lister’s palm
  • A tropical plant referred to as Pandanus elatus
  • Candlenut
  • Coconut
  • Custard apples

Besides these, coconut crabs will also take in tortoise hatchlings, useless animals, and other crabs, together with Christmas Island crimson crabs and Discoplax hirtipes crabs. Also, they’re able of killing Polynesian rats! Some large coconuts may perhaps even feed on birds. One was spotted feeding on a red-footed booby.

How Do Coconut Crabs Open up Coconuts?

Even though opening a coconut may at times be pretty difficult for humans, it’s a piece of cake for coconut crabs.

Some coconut crabs consider the coconut, climb a tree up to 33 toes large, then fall the coconut. Soon after this, they often fall from the tree to delight in the coconut flesh. No problems, coconut crabs are immune to slipping from heights of up to 15 feet, so no crabs get harm in the course of this process

They use their massive pincers with serrated edges, frequently recognised as teeth, to minimize holes into the coconuts and consume the flesh.

How Do Coconut Crabs Locate Food stuff?

Coconut Crab
Coconut crabs have a pretty eager perception of smell that functions in a different way underwater and on land.

iStock.com/Riccardo Maywald

Coconut crabs have a incredibly keen sense of odor that functions in a different way underwater (wherever they odor hydrophilic molecules) and on land (in which they odor hydrophobic molecules). In h2o, coconut crabs use their aesthetascs (organs utilized to figure out the direction and concentration of scent) on their antennae. Land coconut crabs’ scent devices are equivalent to these of insects, this means they flick their antennae to enrich their smell.

Do Coconut Crabs Have Predators?

Coconut crabs have no regarded animal predators. Humans are their only predators. On populated islands, the coconut crab population is just about extinct simply because men and women hunt them for their meat, which is regarded as a delicacy. Some areas of the environment even use coconut crab meat as an aphrodisiac!

Do Coconut Crabs Eat Human Flesh?

Though coconut crabs aren’t frequently intense, they’ll protect themselves if they experience threatened. Since individuals are their only predators, coconut crabs can use their pincers to hurt them. Some men and women have mistakenly set their fingers in a coconut crab’s burrow and gotten attacked.

Even so, would they actually try to eat people? A single crab would probably be not able to consume a full human being. Even if they like human flesh, they’ll will need more of their sort to kill a man or woman. 

If you’re looking through this post, you have probably presently listened to about Amelia Earhart, who was supposedly torn aside by coconut crabs. She was a feminine aviator who disappeared in 1937 in the Pacific Ocean. A fractured skeleton was discovered 3 yrs later, and specialists thought coconut crabs did the occupation.

Even so, it’s nonetheless a thriller no matter whether that system belonged to Amelia Earhart and whether or not coconut crabs did the damage. Though some studies display that the bones belonged to a male, some others exhibit that it is hugely probably they belonged to Amelia Earhart. 

So can coconut crabs take in human flesh? Yes, in theory, they could try to eat human flesh, but it is hugely unlikely they’ll ever get to do that.

Can You Try to eat Coconut Crabs?

Animals With Exoskeletons-Coconut Crab
Coconut crabs are not regarded as poisonous to individuals.


Coconut crabs are thought of a delicacy. Nevertheless, if you choose to try out their meat, you should really know that you may get meals poisoning. Poisoning scenarios from having coconut crabs have been documented.

When coconut crabs are not thought of poisonous to people, their diet regime although alive might’ve provided food items that are toxic to folks. Poisoning situations from feeding on coconut crabs have been documented.

Also, due to the fact their inhabitants is currently stated Vulnerable, staying away from their consumption is suggested, therefore discouraging their looking. 

Amazing Coconut Crab Points

  1. Coconut crabs are from time to time known as robber crabs. This title will come from their skill to steal items. In the 20th century, a number of scientists found coconut crabs thieving points, even a bottle of whiskey! Industry experts believe this has to do with their keen perception of smell.
  2. Coconut crabs have the strongest pinch amongst crustaceans! A coconut crab weighing 9 pounds has a crushing drive of 3,300 newtons. In contrast, lobsters have a claw power of only 150 newtons.
  3. Coconut crabs are solitary animals dwelling in their burrows. They don’t converse even when they search for meals. On the contrary, they have a claw-waving signal that announces their existence so that other coconut crabs hold their distance. If a further coconut crab enters their properties, they’ll possible get rid of and consume it. 
  4. Coconut crabs can stay up to 60 many years!

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