TONY CAMACHO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TONY CAMACHO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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 brown in colour but others on the island are blue and purple in colour. Photographed on Chumbe Island off Zanzibar.
Model release not required. Property release not required.