coconut crab

noun

: 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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web 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 Nam Island, which is adjacent to the site and was blown in half during the Bravo operation, is home to fairy terns and giant coconut crabs and is a nesting site for sea turtles. Susanne Rust, Los Angeles Times, 15 July 2019 Nam Island, which is adjacent to the site and was blown in half during the Bravo operation, is home to fairy terns and giant coconut crabs and is a nesting site for sea turtles. Susanne Rust, latimes.com, 15 July 2019 One person in the group ended up administering first aid when a coconut crab hunt resulted in some bad burns. Jeannette Hinkle, azcentral, 10 July 2019 The tortoises didn’t seem to distinguish between me—a National Geographic photographer—and a frigatebird or a coconut crab or a flightless rail. Ngm Maps, National Geographic, 12 June 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coconut crab.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/coconut%20crab. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

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