coconut crab


: a large burrowing land crab (Birgus latro) that is widely distributed about islands of the tropical Indian and Pacific oceans, has a varied omnivorous diet that includes coconuts, and possesses an oily flesh which is esteemed as a local delicacy

Examples of coconut crab in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The coconut crabs contain hazardous levels of cesium. Pete McKenzie, New York Times, 3 May 2023 Set on the fictional island of Motunui, Moana starred the voice talents of Auli’i Cravalho as Moana, Rachel House as Grandma Tala, Jemaine Clement as the villainous coconut crab Tamatoa, Nicole Scherzinger as Sina, Temuera Morrison as Tui and Alan Tudyk as Heihei the rooster. Glenn Rowley, Billboard, 3 Apr. 2023 Also called the coconut crab because of its predilection for cracking open coconuts, the species is the largest arthropod on land. Elizabeth Preston, Discover Magazine, 20 Nov. 2012 Some crustaceans have excellent color vision (like mantis shrimps), but that may not be the case with the coconut crab. Christie Wilcox, Discover Magazine, 4 July 2018 The most startling creature is the coconut crab, which grows to the size of a cat and may drop suddenly from trees. Cullen Murphy, The Atlantic, 15 June 2022 The coconut crab is the world’s largest terrestrial arthropod, a terrifying creature that reaches up to three feet in length and in many ways resembles an unsettlingly substantial spider. Erin Berger, Outside Online, 30 Mar. 2021 Seychelles Average winter temperatures: High of 87 degrees, low of 76 degrees Giant tortoises, coconut crabs, and black parrots claim this idyllic archipelago as home, due north of Madagascar. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, 19 Dec. 2019 As the largest land invertebrate on the planet, coconut crabs can measure up to three feet across and clock in at over nine pounds. Rachel Hartigan Shea, National Geographic, 20 Aug. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'coconut crab.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1848, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of coconut crab was in 1848

Dictionary Entries Near coconut crab

Cite this Entry

“Coconut crab.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2024.

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