A huge crustacean that lives off coconuts has just just been named the crab with the most crushing claws on the planet.
A gigantic crab that lives on islands int he Indian and Pacific Oceans can grow to an incredible span of 3 feet and weight up to 9 pounds, but it’s the claws that really have scientists amazed. Its enormous claws are even more powerful than they look, a new study is claiming.
The study, published in PLOS One, found that the coconut crab can exert a force of 3,300 newtons, which is 4.5 times more powerful than a typical human’s grip strength, according to a statement from the journal.
Coconut crabs are nothing to be scared of. They live on remote islands, they move very slowly, and they feed mostly on vegetation like coconuts, for which they are named. However, you don’t want to get your fingers in between their claws, and they have preyed on small animals like kittens before.
How does the coconut crab compare to other animals/ the crocodile has a bit force of 16,460 newtons, for example, so the crab is beat there, but it actually has a similar strength as the bites of hyenas, lions and tigers.
“Coconut crabs are the largest terrestrial crustacean and are remarkably strong, lifting up to 28 kilograms,” the statement reads. “The crabs use their claws to fight and defend themselves, and to eat coconuts and other foods with hard exteriors. While decapods exert the greatest pinching force relative to their mass, the pinching force of coconut crabs was unknown. The researchers measured the claw pinching force of 29 wild coconut crabs from Okinawa Island, Japan.
“The researchers found that pinching force increased with body mass. Based on the crabs’ maximum known weight, the maximum pinching force of their claws was projected to be 3,300 newtons. This exceeds both the pinching force of other crustaceans and the bite force of all terrestrial animals except alligators. The crabs’ “mighty claws” let them monopolize coconuts, which other animals are unable to access. In addition, suggest the researchers, being able to hunt other animals with hard exteriors could help these crabs maintain their large bodies.”