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6 unbelievable animals

By: Shea Gunther on Oct. 14, 2012, 4:02 p.m.
giant coconut crab

Photo: Wikimedia

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Giant coconut crab

The coconut crab is the stuff of nightmares. With a leg span that can be more than three feet, it's the largest land arthropod in the world. The coconut crab is officially a type of hermit crab, but only the young coconut crab has to use scavenged shells for protection. As it grows, its exoskeleton hardens up and it steps out naked to face the world.

The coconut crab lives on islands scattered from the eastern coast of Africa to southeast Asia and into the South Pacific. Though this crab enjoys eating a coconut when it comes across one — and has been known to climb coconut trees to get to them — its diet consists mostly of fruits, nuts and the pith of fallen trees.