Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Now that’s a tropical paradise


Clearly, the best place for the mysterious island lair of a super-villain who likes invertebrates has to be Christmas Island. So cuddly!

coconutcrab

I wonder if I could swap our cat for one?

Comments

  1. Trebuchet says

    I’ve heard of getting crabs, but that’s ridiculous.

    I think I’ll have to google “largest crustacean” and “largest arthropod”. Both of which may be that critter.

  2. Cuttlefish says

    I like the number of legs, but a little to crunchy for me. Personal taste; your mileage may vary.

  3. Rob says

    Coconut crab? If so I think that’s about as big as land based arthropods get at the moment. Luckily. My first thought was “jesus FC that better not be a spider”.

  4. Matrim says

    Fuck that thing, seriously. The only possible good that can come from a crab that size is the fact that, due to it’s more significant mass, the accuracy of my “get the fuck away from me” cannon will be less affected by wind when I launch that thing into the sun.

  5. Erp says

    Largest land arthropod though the one’s in the sea can get quite a bit bigger. Wikipedia mentions a Japanese Spider Crab with an arm span of 3.8 meters (12ft) and for heaviest, a lobster weighing 22kg (44lbs) and 1.1 meters in length.

  6. microraptor says

    I hear that they don’t let go when they grab you with their claws.

    I also hear that they’re delicious.

    Now I’m in the mood for some crab legs…

  7. throwaway, butcher of tongues, mauler of metaphor says

    That thing was alive while he was holding it? I’m surprised he wasn’t accidentally Claw-plach’d.

  8. Lady Mondegreen says

    I wonder if I could swap our cat for one?

    Of course not. In the immortal words of Mrs. Lovett:

    …[A] pussy’s good for six or seven [small meat pies] at the most,

    And I’m sure they can’t compare as far as taste.

    Of course she was comparing the taste of cat to that of another mammal. I’m sure the comparison still holds here, though.

  9. ledasmom says

    Have been looking at this for several minutes. Still unable to say anything but “Fuck. Fuck. Fuuuuuuuuuuuck“.

  10. madtom1999 says

    My dad brought a couple of these home once. They are incredibly strong and incredibly noisy – they can destroy just about anything they organic they can get their claws round or into.
    #9 Rey – no they dont stink at all that I remember just incessant scraping and crunching as they tried to move around and escape. They even made marks on 400 year old oak beams which defy modern tools.

  11. ledasmom says

    madtom1999: That sounds like the prelude to either a fine meal or Lovecraftian horror.

  12. ledasmom says

    Still unable to say anything but “Fuck. Fuck. Fuuuuuuuuuuuck“

    Which, I have just realized, is exactly the same reaction I had while driving earlier, when I realized that Trump is going to be the Republican nominee.

  13. dianne says

    That sounds like the prelude to either a fine meal or Lovecraftian horror.

    Or both.

  14. blf says

    Swap an island for a cat? The mildly deranged penguin informs me it makes no real difference, both are easy to launch from a trebuchet. The island does, usually, require a slightly larger trebuchet, or in the case of really stubborn islands, a volcano (with some virgins to prime it), but — except for the virgins — these are minor technical difficulties.

  15. janiceintoronto says

    There’s no information as to whether it votes Republican or Democrat.

    How am I supposed to judge it?

  16. Tethys says

    I wasn’t too creeped out by all those legs and claws, and did an image search for giant land crabs. Wow. o-o Not only are they huge, they seem pretty smart for a crab. I guess they can live for 70 years, and it just looks wrong to see crabs in trees. Arboreal giant crabs that harvest and eat coconuts. It sounds fantastical, like a jackalope, or sidehill mugwumps. Coconut fed crab does sound delicious, but it’s probably best to avoid eating endangered species.

  17. rq says

    I like it. This sign does make me wary, though – perhaps it’s just poor representation, but it certainly looks like they’re intelligent enough to not only harvest coconuts, but also trap humans.

  18. Tethys says

    This article is amusing, though if this crab gives you the heebie jeebies, I should warn you the link contains more crabs and an extinct, human sized millepede.

    They are also covered head to toe with armor that would make a Space Marine Centurion weep with joy; they are so confident in its quality that they gather coconuts by climbing up a palm, snipping off the coconut and then literally jumping off the top of the tree, a feat that would cost an ordinary human, at least a broken everything.

    I guess nice moonlight walks in the jungle are a bad idea if there are coconuts AND giant crabs falling from the tree tops.

  19. says

    I don’t know if that beastie is related the the Coconut Crabs that I remember from my time in the Solomon Islands. I would not have given one of them a cuddle as their oversized claws could be quite viscous. They didn’t grow as big as this fella, but then a lot of them did get eaten. Jolly nice they were too (once you had cooked them not before), especially in a coconut and chilli sauce.

  20. Artor says

    Swap your cat for one of those, PZ? Hell, you could feed your cat to one of those!

  21. Ed Seedhouse says

    I suspect that crab would happily eat your cat, thus solving both your problems.

  22. Ed Seedhouse says

    Artor@29: Damn you. You not only beat me to the punch but said it better. One day I shall be avenged.

  23. ledasmom says

    Apparently they borrow shells when they are young and small, just like other hermit crabs. Just as well they don’t do that at full size.
    There is a movie that has the line “Once, they were men. Now, they are land crabs.” Might have been “Attack of the Land Crabs”. Monster movies do tend towards those strictly descriptive titles.

  24. blf says

    Apparently they borrow shells when they are young and small, just like other hermit crabs. Just as well they don’t do that at full size.

    Actually, they do. Well, did. You were wondering what really happened to the dinosaurs, weren’t you?

  25. Lofty says

    I’ll stick to living in the temperate zone with the drop bears, thanks.

    Much safer.

  26. brucegee1962 says

    The worst part of crabs like these is imagining how they probably contributed to the last days of Amelia Earhart.