15 Coconut Crab Characteristics: Facts That You Should Know!

Coconut crabs are a type of the so-called hermit crab. Let us see some of the features and characteristics of coconut crabs in detail.

  • Coconut crabs are referred to as the world’s largest terrestrial arthropod which grows up to 3ft.
  • Small coconut crabs use their shell for protection and the older ones develop a hard layer of skin for protection.
  • Coconut crabs are very bad swimmers. They can not swim and may drown if left in immersed water for a long time.
  • Coconut crabs have got the name coconut crab as they can break open the hard coconut shell by the aid of the claws which are thick and muscular.
  • Coconut crab’s life span is over 60 years (approximately).
  • Coconut crabs live in the coastal rocks and burrows.
  • Coconut crabs are active at night.
  • Coconut crabs feed on fruits, coconuts and leaves.
  • Coconut crabs can also climb trees.
  • Coconut crabs can appear blue or red in color.
  • The smell of coconut crab is very strong.
  • The fun fact is that coconut crabs can steal stuff. It is reported that coconut crabs steal the bottles, caps and other stuff of the tourists who visit the beach.
  • Coconut crabs are not agile.
  • Coconut crabs are known for their strongest pinch by their muscular claws.
  • Coconut crabs can not be seen in groups, they love to live alone.

Are coconut crabs endangered?

Endangered animals are the type of animals which are under the risk of extinction. Let us see if coconut crabs are endangered species or not.

Coconut crabs are considered endangered as per the recent reports. In the coastal region, they can be a prey for many bigger animals. They are also hunted for food in different regions of the world. Many researchers state that it is high in nutrition and is edible. So it is considered endangered by the researchers.

However, the coconut crabs or the hermit crabs are considered locally extinct in fewer regions due to hunting by humans, animal predation and also by the loss of habitat for the hermit crabs.

Are coconut crabs herbivores?

Herbivores are the type of organisms that feed only on plants, not on other animals. Let us discuss if coconut crabs are herbivores or not.

Coconut crabs are omnivores and not herbivores. They feed on both animal based diets and also plant based diets. They consume coconuts, other small marine crustaceans and small aquatic organisms. They also feed on tiny moss, aquatic plants and other algae.

Image Credits: Coconut Crab by Drew Avery (CC BY 2.0) from Wikimedia Commons

Are coconut crabs fast?

The movement of coconut crabs is very significant as they are hunted by other organisms including human for food. Let us see in detail if they move fast or slow.

Coconut crabs are generally slow. They move slowly by using their claws. They can climb trees by using the claw which is thick and muscular. They aid in the grip and also they aid to break open the hard thick shell of coconut to consume.

They are slow on sand or land and they are very bad swimmers.


The article exhaustively explains the features or the characteristics of coconut crabs like their appearance, swimming nature, food habits, nocturnal activity, living habitats, fun facts and many more.

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