Coconut Crabs Pinch Like Lions, Eat Like Dumpster Divers
Feb 21, 2017 11:13 AM EST
Coconut crabs have a ferocious pinch that is one of the strongest if not the strongest of its family. It can also eat almost anything thrown at it, even garbage.
There are very few things that can rival the power of our top predators. The jaws of a lion and the strength of a shark are all things that man have been marveling for as long as anyone can remember. When we think about monstrous sea creatures that aren't the top predators in the ocean, they are often mostly exaggerated or told with a big mixture of fantasy, and yet there exists a crustacean that can hold a semblance of truth to these old folktales: the coconut crab, wielding a pinch like a lion and an appetite like a dumpster diver.
Going by the latin name "Birgus Latro", Sciencemag.com claims that the coconut crab can grow up to a meter long. Its appearance has somewhat dazed a number of people who have never seen such a large crustacean before and has been, on more than one occasion, the main attraction in many articles about sea life. Aside from the coconut crab's lion-like pinches, it really has no preference on what it eats and is synonymous with the eating habits of a dumpster diver.
Sciencenews.org has more to say about the curious critter, even going so far as to report findings and results based on studies done in Okinawa, Japan. The creature's pinch surpasses the bite force of most land predators, even that of a lion which has a canine bite with 1,315 newtons and molars that can crunch with 2,024 newtons. The irony is that they are described as being very shy and will not attack unless provoked, but that giant claw of theirs is used for dismembering anything they come across, whether it be roadkill or innards of palm trees and nuts and going by that dumpster diver diet.
These crabs have even been known to hunt their smaller, less powerful cousin, the red crab, on Christmase Island. Despite their giant claw, which both male and females have, the process takes quite a long time, but perhaps many should be thankful knowing that a crustacean the size of a small house cat with pinching power stronger than a lion has an omnivorous appetite as a scavenger and could eat like a dumpster diver, and are not interested in us.