Coconut (or Robber) Crab

January 2009
World Book Science Dataset;1/1/2009, p1
Reference Entry
Coconut (or Robber) Crab, a crustacean found on islands of the South Pacific and Indian Oceans. It is not considered a true crab because its abdomen is soft and unsegmented. The coconut crab lives underground during the day, often taking over the burrow of a land crab. (This accounts for the name "robber crab.") It feeds at night on fruit, especially coconuts. It is a skillful climber and will scale coconut trees 60 feet (18 m) high. The heavy, sharp claws are used to tear off the coconut husk and puncture a hole in the nut. It extracts the meat with its smaller pincers.


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