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They also bend their tails underneath their bodies for protection, as do most true crabs.The hardened abdomen protects the coconut crab and reduces water loss on land, but has to be moulted at periodic intervals.The next three pairs have smaller tweezer-like chelae at the end, and are used as walking limbs.In addition these specially adapted limbs enable the coconut crab to climb vertically up trees (often coconut palms) up to 6 m high.

The organs require water to function, and the crab provides this by stroking its wetted legs over the spongy tissues nearby.The coconut crab (Birgus latro) is the largest terrestrial arthropod in the world.It is a derived hermit crab which is known for its ability to crack coconuts with its strong pincers in order to eat the contents.The smell of rotting meat, bananas and coconuts catch their attention especially, as potential food sources.Coconut crabs mate frequently and quickly on dry land in the period from May to September, especially in July and August.It is sometimes called the robber crab or palm thief (in German, Palmendieb), because some coconut crabs are rumored to steal shiny items such as pots and silverware from houses and tents.

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