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The coconut crab, Birgus latro, is a species of terrestrial hermit crab, also known as the robber crab or palm thief. It is the largest land-living arthropod in the world. Like hermit crabs, juvenile coconut crabs use empty gastropod shells for protection, but the adults develop a tough exoskeleton on their abdomen and stop carrying a shell. The species is popularly associated with the coconut, and has been widely reported to climb trees to pick coconuts, which it then opens to eat the flesh.
The coconut crab weighs about 6.6 pounds and its legs can span up to two and a half feet. Liz Hall from the Melbourne Aquarium inspects Coconut Crab as he takes possesion of a coconut in Melbourne, 19 December 2006. They Coconut crab (also known as the Robber Crab) are the largest living crab in the world and can climb coconut trees to harvest coconuts which they can break with their huge nippers and have been gruesomely know to feed on injured or unconcious people in the bush.
Although it might seem impossible to stop the harvesting of these tough yet vulnerable creatures entirely, several countries, including Guam and Vanuatu, are trying to minimize the dangers to their coconut crab populations. The nature reserve of Palmyra Atoll also provides the crabs with a safe habitat in which to live. While farming the creature has also been considered, a lot still has to be learned about coconut crab reproduction for this to be viable.