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Species of the month[edit]

Coconut Crab[edit]

Birgus latro

Birgus latro

Some facts about this crab:

Body length: Up to 40 cm.
Weight: Up to 4.1 kg.
Leg span: Can reach 91 cm.
Diet: Fruit, nuts, seeds and dead animals.
Habitat: Lives alone in underground burrows and rock crevices.
Range: Indo-Pacific islands.
First described: By Carolus Linnaeus in 1767 who named it Cancer latro. William Elford Leach renamed it in 1816 as Birgus latro.

Birgus latro loves eating coconuts, and the juveniles also use the shells for protection. It is a very skillful climber and can scale coconut trees 18 meters high. There it uses its heavy, sharp claws to tear off the coconut husk and puncture a hole in the coconut shell. The coconut meat is extracted with the smaller pincers. This crab, which is considered the largest land-living arthropod, has gills modified to function as lungs. It spawns in the ocean where the young pass through the larval stage. After maturing they leave the ocean permanently and lose the ability to breathe in water.

(Archived from Template:Species of the week)