Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Weird Critter Blogging

Run! Run for your lives!

Here's a Coconut crab , the largest terrestrial arthropod, because I'm more in the mood to look at weird critters than talk about politics. Here's another:

I admit, I've never seen one, but this is one scary looking crab.

Reports about the size of Birgus latro vary, and most references give a weight of up to 4 kg (9 lb), a body length of up to 400 mm (16 in), and a leg span of around
1 m (3 ft),[2] with males generally being larger than females. Some reports claim weights up to 17 kg and a body length of 1 m

These are the kind of things I blog for.

Coconut crabs vary in size and colouring.

They can live 30 to 60 years, and while their main diet is fruit, there is this:

During a tagging experiment, one coconut crab was observed catching and eating a Polynesian rat.[3]. Coconut crabs often try to steal food from each other and will pull their food into their burrows to be safe while eating.

The coconut crab climbs trees to eat coconuts or fruit, to escape the heat or to escape predators. It is a common perception that the coconut crab cuts the coconuts from the tree to eat them on the ground.

The coconut crab is eaten by the Pacific islanders, and is considered a delicacy and an aphrodisiac, with a taste similar to lobster and crabmeat. The most prized parts are the eggs inside the female coconut crab and the fat in the abdomen. Coconut crabs can be cooked in a similar way to lobsters, by boiling or steaming. Different islands also have a variety of recipes, as for example coconut crab cooked in coconut milk.

While the coconut crab itself is not poisonous, it may become poisonous depending on its diet, and cases of coconut crab poisoning have occurred. It is believed that the poison comes from plant toxins, which would explain why some animals are poisonous and others not. It may also be possible that this poison is considered an aphrodisiac, similar to the highly poisonous pufferfish eaten in Japan. However, coconut crabs are not a commercial product and are usually not sold.

Children sometimes play with coconut crabs by placing some wet grass at an angle on a palm tree that contains a coconut crab. When the animal climbs down, it believes the grass is the ground, releases its grip on the tree, and subsequently falls.

The coconut crab is admired for its strength, and it is said that villagers use this animal to guard their coconut plantations. A coconut crab may attack a person if it is threatened. The coconut crab, especially if it is not yet fully grown, is also sold as a pet, for example in Tokyo. The cage must be strong enough that the animal cannot use its powerful claws to escape.

We need more critters like this. (h/t


--mf said...

Like we used to say in the Navy:

"Forget the shrimp, Honey-- I'm coming home with the crabs!"


Freaky crabs, buddy!


Fran said...

Py- thank you. That may be the best post I read all day.

cognitorex said...

karl rove and the propaganda party place wet grass around today's life and death issues which the troglodyte wing of the GOP then perceives as the truth.
Sean Hannity receives 'wet grass' award!

ellroon said...

Dear god, I love eating crab... but that first shot is nightmare-inducing!!

5th Estate said...


I really like your serious current affairs writing and Newhoggers is biased towards that, but yeah we all need a break.
I hope you get traffic from the links.
The first pic. is a shocker! ( and that from someone who once took home a live 52-pound lobster).

I have to add you to my own blogroll (and get current with my own own blogging too).

well, cheers!

pygalgia said...

Thanks, 5th, and you're now on my 'roll.

Suzy said...

I kind of like the way that first one looks like it's crawling out of the garbage can. It's the nightmare of someone who just ate an enormous crab leg dinner at Red Lobster. Like something on Night Gallery.

Anonymous said...

Crunchy spiders.

Imagine if they spun webs...