The large coconut crab weighs 4-7 pounds and has a leg span up to about 30 inches...and yes, is can climb trees! (Photo Courtesy the University of Hawaii).
What can live up to 40 years, has a habit for climbing up trees and likes to eat coconuts? Coconut crabs of course! If you happen to go for a nighttime jaunt in the National Park of American Samoa, you might stumble upon a large…a very large crab scavenging around for food. The coconut crab is the largest land invertebrate in the world, weighing in at a whopping 7-pounds. They are an edible crab (and very easy to catch), so you won’t find many hanging out near places inhabited by humans.
Except when it comes time to lay its eggs in the ocean, this crab spends all of its time on land. When the eggs hatch into larvae, they drift about in the ocean for about a month before migrating
shoreward. These young coconut crabs use snail shells for protection during this early period but then abandon the shells for the remainder of their lengthy life. One of the biggest threats to these fascinating creatures are the roadways in American Samoa. When the young are making their journey from the sea to the land and when the older females head to the sea to deposit their eggs, many end up squashed on the Territory’s roads. So if you ever get a chance to visit the National Park of American Samoa
, be on the lookout for these amazing creatures!
Yep, that's a big crab!