Coconut Crab with blue purple morphotype

Coconut Crab with blue purple morphotype

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Credit: TONY CAMACHO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The Coconut Crab (Birgus latro) is the largest land-living arthropod in the world. Its powerful claws enable it crack open coconuts. Coconut crabs have organs known as branchiostegal lungs that are used instead of the vestigial gills for breathing. They are unable to swim and will drown if submerged in water for any length of time. Coconut crabs are hunted for their meat and have become locally extinct in areas which are close to human settlements. The IUCN lists the species as Data Deficient. Males and females reach sexual maturity at about six years of age and have a lifespan of approximately 60 years. These crabs have two morphotypes which are not linked to gender. The crab in this image is blue and purple but others on the island are red/brown in colour. Photographed on Chumbe Island off Zanzibar.

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Keywords: africa, african, animal, biology, birgus latro, chumbe island, cocnut crab, coconut, coenobitidae, crab, exoskeleton, fauna, indian ocean, land living anthropod, largest, nature, pincers, robber crab, tanzania, terrestrial, tropical, wildlife, zanzibar, zoology

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