Saturday, March 9, 2013

Coconut Crabs

Since today is National Crab Day, let's celebrate a crab you may not know a lot about, the coconut crab.  They are a relative of the hermit crab. They are the largest land arthropod currently on Earth (million of years ago there were bigger ones when Earth's oxygen levels were higher).  They live in the original island habitat of the coconut palm in the Indo-Pacific.  I am not encouraging you eating these crabs, there is too much of that going on for that.  I have eaten this crab in the past (I do not eat them now) and they are delicious.  But there are other crabs available that are equally delicious and are more sustainable.

Update:  Did coconut crabs eat Amelia Earhart?
Coconut crabs, Birgus latro, are (unfortunately for them) they are rare.
The one above is just massive and was allegedly on Christmas Island

Coconut Crab Distribution Map
One of the last strongholds for the coconut crab is Palmyra Atoll about 1000 miles southeast of Hawaii.  The islands are uninhabited (except for some researchers and occasional visitors) and is owned by the Nature Conservancy (partnered with U.S. Fish and Wildlife).  So people are not eating the crabs there.

Since you can probably not get coconut crab where you live (and even if you can get them, it is good to leave some for the future) here is a crab recipe you can make virtually anywhere.  


  1. Just in case you missed the Nigella Lawson Rule Five connection...

    1. I did not recall that post of yours, but I am definitely linking it to all things Nigella. Thanks.


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