Monday, 5 December 2016

The coconut crab’s pinch is the strongest in the world

November 29, 2016

by Brett Smith

Despite having been studied for more than 100 years, coconut crabs have largely remained a mystery to biologists.

In a new study, researchers have found the crustaceans have claws capable of exerting 742 pounds of force, despite typically weighing 10 pounds or less. Coconut crabs are the largest hermit crabs on the planet, but unlike most hermit crabs, mature coconut crabs do not scavenge sea shells to protect their vulnerable backside. Instead, they rely on their massive, powerful claws and tough exoskeleton to ward off attacks from would-be predators.

Researchers behind the new study said they found out firsthand just how painful a pinch from those claws could be.

“When I was pinched, I couldn’t do anything until they unfastened their claws,” study author Shin-ichiro Oka, from the Okinawa Churashima Foundation, Japan, said in a news release. “Although it was only a few minutes, it felt like an eternal hell.” 

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