Which Animals Recognize Themselves In Mirrors? – Mirror Test

Seeker

The hamadryas baboon is one primate species that fails the mirror test.

The mirror test—sometimes called the mark testmirror self-recognition (MSRtestred spot technique, or rouge test—is a behavioral technique developed in 1970 by American psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. as an attempt to determine whether an animal possesses the ability of visual self-recognition. The MSR test is the traditional method for attempting to measure physiological and cognitive self-awareness. However, agreement has been reached that animals can be self-aware in ways not measured by the mirror test, such as distinguishing between their own and others’ songs and scents.

In the classic MSR test, an animal is anesthetized and then marked (e.g., painted or a sticker attached) on an area of the body the animal cannot normally see. When the animal recovers from the anesthetic, it is given access to a mirror. If the animal then touches or investigates the mark, it is taken as an indication that the animal perceives the reflected image as an image of itself, rather than of another animal.(see Face perception)

Very few species have passed the MSR test. Species that have, include the great apes (including humans), a single Asiatic elephantdolphinsorcas, the Eurasian magpie, and the cleaner wrasse. A wide range of species has been reported to fail the test, including several species of monkeysgiant pandas, and sea lions.

Animals that are considered to be able to recognize themselves in a mirror typically progress through four stages of behavior when facing a mirror:

  1. social responses
  2. physical inspection (e.g. looking behind the mirror)
  3. repetitive mirror-testing behavior
  4. realization of seeing themselves

European magpies have demonstrated mirror self recognition.

Wikipedia

Since the 1970s psychologists have used mirrors to search for signs of self-awareness in both humans and animals. Along the way, they came to believe that humans were almost universally able to pass a mirror-based self-recognition test by 24 months of age. But a 2004 study published in Child Development called that idea into question. Researchers found the widely accepted finding only applied to kids from Western nations, where most of the previous studies had been done. Now, a study published September 9 in The Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology is reinforcing that idea and taking it further. Not only do non-Western kids fail to pass the mirror self-recognition test by 24 months—in some countries, they still are not succeeding at six years old.

What does it mean? Are kids in places like Fiji and Kenya really unable to figure out a mirror? Do these children lack the ability to psychologically separate themselves from other humans? Not likely. Instead researchers say these results point to long-standing debates about what counts as mirror self-recognition, and how results of the test ought to be interpreted.

Based on results with Western children, psychologists have linked the age humans start passing the mark test with other milestones that happen around the same time, such as development of empathy. The ability to separate oneself from others is often thought of as a prerequisite for understanding that someone else might be hurt or sad, even if the beholder is not.

Scientific American

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Both Environment and Genetic Makeup Influence Behavior

Bhutan

Flag of Bhutan

Bhutan (/buːˈtɑːn/ (listen); Dzongkha: འབྲུག་ཡུལ་, romanizedDruk Yul[ʈuk̚˩.yː˩]Nepaliभूटान) officially known as the Kingdom of Bhutan (Dzongkha: འབྲུག་རྒྱལ་ཁབ་, romanizedDruk Gyal Khap), is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. It is bordered by China to the north and India to the south east & west. Nepal and Bangladesh are located in proximity to Bhutan but do not share a land border. The country has a population of over 754,000 and a territory of 38,394 square kilometers (14,824 sq mi) which ranks 133rd in terms of land area, and 160th in population. Bhutan is a constitutional monarchy with Vajrayana Buddhism as the state religion.

Bhutan (orthographic projection).svg

Bhutan’s political system has recently changed from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. King Jigme Singye Wangchuck transferred most of his administrative powers to the Council of Cabinet Ministers and allowed for impeachment of the King by a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly.

In 1999, the government lifted a ban on television and internet, making Bhutan one of the last countries to introduce television. In his speech, the King said that television was a critical step to the modernization of Bhutan as well as a major contributor to the country’s gross national happiness, but warned that the “misuse” of this new technology could erode traditional Bhutanese values.

A new constitution was presented in early 2005. In December 2005, Wangchuck announced that he would abdicate the throne in his son’s favour in 2008. On 14 December 2006, he announced that he would be abdicating immediately. This was followed by the first national parliamentary elections in December 2007 and March 2008.

On 6 November 2008, 28-year-old Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was crowned king.

Bhutan has deposits of numerous minerals. Commercial production includes coaldolomitegypsum, and limestone. The country has proven reserves of berylcopper, graphite, leadmicapyritetintungsten, and zinc. However, the country’s mineral deposits remain untapped, as it prefers to conserve the environment, rather than to exploit and destroy it for money.

Denmark is among the largest contributors of development aid to Bhutan.

Bhutan – Wikipedia, den frie encyklopædi

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Biodiversity

See also: List of mammals of Bhutan and Wildlife of BhutanThe takin is Bhutan’s national animal.

Bhutan signed the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity on 11 June 1992, and became a party to the convention on 25 August 1995. It has subsequently produced a National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, with two revisions, the most recent of which was received by the convention on 4 February 2010.

Animals

Himalayan Marmot at Tshophu Lake, Bhutan

Bhutan has a rich primate life, with rare species such as the golden langur. A variant Assamese macaque has also been recorded, which is regarded by some authorities as a new species, Macaca munzala.

The Bengal tigerclouded leopardhispid hare and the sloth bear live in the tropical lowland and hardwood forests in the south. In the temperate zone, grey langur, tiger, goral and serow are found in mixed conifer, broadleaf and pine forests. Fruit-bearing trees and bamboo provide habitat for the Himalayan black bearred pandasquirrelsambarwild pig and barking deer. The alpine habitats of the great Himalayan range in the north are home to the snow leopardblue sheepmarmotTibetan wolfantelopeHimalayan musk deer and the takin, Bhutan’s national animal. The endangered wild water buffalo occurs in southern Bhutan, although in small numbers.

More than 770 species of bird have been recorded in Bhutan. The globally endangered white-winged duck has been added recently in 2006 to Bhutan’s bird list.

Plants

More than 5,400 species of plants are found in Bhutan, including Pedicularis cacuminidenta. Fungi form a key part of Bhutanese ecosystems, with mycorrhizal species providing forest trees with mineral nutrients necessary for growth, and with wood decay and litter decomposing species playing an important role in natural recycling.

Conservation

Main article: List of protected areas of Bhutan

Bhutan protected areas location map.png

Protected areas of Bhutan in lavender; biological corridors in green.

The Eastern Himalayas have been identified as a global biodiversity hotspot and counted among the 234 globally outstanding ecoregions of the world in a comprehensive analysis of global biodiversity undertaken by WWF between 1995 and 1997.

According to the Swiss-based International Union for Conservation of Nature, Bhutan is viewed as a model for proactive conservation initiatives. The Kingdom has received international acclaim for its commitment to the maintenance of its biodiversity. This is reflected in the decision to maintain at least sixty percent of the land area under forest cover, to designate more than 40% of its territory as national parks, reserves and other protected areas, and most recently to identify a further nine percent of land area as biodiversity corridors linking the protected areas. All of Bhutan’s protected land is connected to one another through a vast network of biological corridors, allowing animals to migrate freely throughout the country. Environmental conservation has been placed at the core of the nation’s development strategy, the middle path. It is not treated as a sector but rather as a set of concerns that must be mainstreamed in Bhutan’s overall approach to development planning and to be buttressed by the force of law.

The country’s constitution mentions environment standards in multiple sections.

Environmental issues

Further information: Environmental issues in BhutanHimalayan black bear

Although Bhutan’s natural heritage is still largely intact, the government has said that it cannot be taken for granted and that conservation of the natural environment must be considered one of the challenges that will need to be addressed in the years ahead. Nearly 56.3% of all Bhutanese are involved with agriculture, forestry or conservation. The government aims to promote conservation as part of its plan to target Gross National Happiness. It currently has net negative greenhouse gas emissions because the small amount of pollution it creates is absorbed by the forests that cover most of the country. While the entire country collectively produces 2,200,000 metric tons (2,200,000 long tons; 2,400,000 short tons) of carbon dioxide a year, the immense forest covering 72% of the country acts as a carbon sink, absorbing more than four million tons of carbon dioxide every year. Bhutan had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 8.85/10, ranking it 16th globally out of 172 countries.

Bhutan has a number of progressive environmental policies that have caused the head of the UNFCCC to call it an “inspiration and role model for the world on how economies and different countries can address climate change while at the same time improving the life of the citizen.” For example, electric cars have been pushed in the country and as of 2014 make up a tenth of all cars. Because the country gets most of its energy from hydroelectric power, it does not emit significant greenhouse gases for energy production.

Pressures on the natural environment, fueled by a complex array of forces, are already evident. They include: population pressures, agricultural modernization, poaching, hydro-power development, mineral extraction, industrialization, urbanization, sewage and waste disposal, tourism, competition for available land, road construction and the provision of other physical infrastructure associated with social and economic development.

In practice, the overlap of these extensive protected lands with populated areas has led to mutual habitat encroachment. Protected wildlife has entered agricultural areas, trampling crops and killing livestock. In response, Bhutan has implemented an insurance scheme, begun constructing solar powered alarm fences, watch towers, and search lights, and has provided fodder and salt licks outside human settlement areas to encourage animals to stay away.

The huge market value of the Ophiocordyceps sinensis fungus crop collected from the wild has also resulted in unsustainable exploitation which is proving very difficult to regulate.

Bhutan has enforced a plastic ban rule from 1 April 2019, where plastic bags were replaced by alternative bags made of jute and other biodegradable material.

Takin Standing (22221570730).jpg

The takin is Bhutan’s national animal.

Himalayan black bear

Sloth bear

Bengal tiger

Clouded leopard

Snow leopard

Himalayan wolf, Annapurna Conservation Area.jpg

Tibetan wolf

Firefox relaxing.jpg

Red panda

Grey langur

Wild pig

Sambar (Rusa unicolor) male.jpg

Sambar

Muntiacus sp - Hai Hong Karni.jpg

Barking deer

Blue sheep

Goral Girardinia diversifolia AJTJ.jpg

Goral

Marmot-edit1.jpg

Marmot

Read more here: Bhutan – Wikipedia

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Meanwhile in Florida…panthers, gators and bears using wildlife crossings

Florida panthers, alligators, bears, bobcats, deer and coyotes cruise through wildlife crossings beneath highways as unwitting humans commute above them at 70mph.

Wildlife crossings are an effective tool for combatting habitat fragmentation and are a win-win for protecting wildlife and drivers from injury or death from collisions.

Center for Biological Diversity

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Seal Rescued from Fancy Shirt

The seal rescuers from OCN went to Pelican Point, Namibia, to look for entangled seals. They often lose sight of entangled seals as soon as they start running, but they charge into the group anyways, hoping to identify other entangled seals that they could not see from their original viewpoint. One seal’s loss might always turn into another seal’s win. In this case, they found a seal stuck in a fancy shirt – his whole body was covered by the fabric – and another one covered in gill net. They quickly get to work and remove all entanglements from both seals.

Ocean Conservation Namibia

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Successful Humpback Whale Rescue!

What is microplastic anyway? Inside the insidious pollution that is absolutely everywhere

Microplastic in spoon (Getty Images/Olena Sakhnenko)

“Microplastics are insidious and now cover large areas of our planet,” Mary Crowley, Founder and President of Ocean Voyages Institute, wrote to Salon. “Besides being found in the deepest part of our ocean, the Mariana Trench, microplastics are also found atop the Rocky Mountains, the Pyrenees Mountains, the Arctic, the Antarctic and throughout the world’s oceans and deserts — everywhere!” Even worse, because plastic is not biodegradable (that is, able to decompose because bacteria or other organisms consume it), it is going to stick around for centuries.

“Microplastics end up being ingested by small organisms which are in turn ingested by larger organisms such as fish and birds and via this route, plastic enters into our planet’s food web making its way up the food chain,” Crowley explained. “Microplastics and larger pieces of plastic are now commonly found filling the stomachs of fish, birds, whales, dolphins, seals and turtles, causing illness and mortality.”

What is microplastic anyway? Inside the insidious pollution that is absolutely everywhere — Vermont Folk Troth

Plastic pollution in Ghana, 2018

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Toxic ‘forever chemicals’ are leaching into food, drinks, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, cleaning products, etc.

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Biggest Seal Rescued Destroys Net!

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Baby Seal Caught In TWO Entanglements

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Great Blue Heron capturing a fish in a plastic bags — birds and other wildlife regularly consume plastic when it gets entangled with or confused with food.

Coconut Crab

The coconut crab (Birgus latro) is a species of terrestrial hermit crab, also known as the robber crab or palm thief. It is the largest terrestrial arthropod in the world, with a weight up to 4.1 kg (9.0 lb). It can grow to up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in length from each tip to tip of the leg. It is found on islands across the Indian Ocean, and parts of the Pacific Ocean as far east as the Gambier Islands and Pitcairn Islands, similar to the distribution of the coconut palm; it has been extirpated from most areas with a significant human population, including mainland Australia and Madagascar. Coconut crabs also live off the coast of Africa near Zanzibar.

The coconut crab is the only species of the genus Birgus, and is related to the terrestrial hermit crabs of the genus Coenobita. It shows a number of adaptations to life on land. Like other hermit crabs, juvenile coconut crabs use empty gastropod shells for protection, but the adults develop a tough exoskeleton on their abdomens and stop carrying a shell. Coconut crabs have organs known as branchiostegal lungs, which are used for breathing, instead of their vestigial gills, and after the juvenile stage they will drown if immersed in water for too long. They have an acute sense of smell which they use to find potential food sources, and which has developed convergently with that of insects.

Adult coconut crabs feed primarily on fleshy fruits, nuts, seeds, and the pith of fallen trees, but they will eat carrion and other organic matter opportunistically. Anything left unattended on the ground is a potential source of food, which they will investigate and may carry away – thereby getting the alternative name of “robber crab.” The species is popularly associated with the coconut palm, yet coconuts are not a significant part of its diet. Although it lives in a burrow, the crab has been filmed climbing coconut and pandanus trees. No film shows a crab selectively picking coconut fruit, though they might dislodge ripe fruit that otherwise would fall naturally. Climbing is an immediate escape route (if too far from the burrow) to avoid predation (when young) by large sea birds, or cannibalism (at any age) by bigger, older crabs.

Mating occurs on dry land, but the females return to the edge of the sea to release their fertilized eggs, and then retreat back up the beach. The larvae that hatch are planktonic for 3–4 weeks, before settling to the sea floor, entering a gastropod shell and returning to dry land. Sexual maturity is reached after about 5 years, and the total lifespan may be over 60 years. In the 3–4 weeks that the larvae remain at sea, their chances of reaching another suitable location is enhanced if a floating life support system avails itself to them. Examples of the systems that provide such opportunities include floating logs and rafts of marine or terrestrial vegetation. Similarly, floating coconuts can be a very significant part of the crab’s dispersal options. Fossils of this crab date back to the Miocene.

The coconut crab reaches sexual maturity around 5 years after hatching. They reach their maximum size only after 40–60 years.

B. latro is the largest terrestrial arthropod, and indeed terrestrial invertebrate, in the world; reports about its size vary, but most sources give a body length up to 40 cm (16 in), a weight up to 4.1 kg (9.0 lb), and a leg span more than 0.91 m (3.0 ft), with males generally being larger than females. The carapace may reach a length of 78 mm (3.1 in), and a width up to 200 mm (7.9 in).

Except as larvae, coconut crabs cannot swim, and drown if left in water for more than an hour. They use a special organ called a branchiostegal lung to breathe. This organ can be interpreted as a developmental stage between gills and lungs, and is one of the most significant adaptations of the coconut crab to its habitat. The branchiostegal lung contains a tissue similar to that found in gills, but suited to the absorption of oxygen from air, rather than water. This organ is expanded laterally and is evaginated to increase the surface area; located in the cephalothorax, it is optimally placed to reduce both the blood/gas diffusion distance and the return distance of oxygenated blood to the pericardium.

Coconut crabs use their hindmost, smallest pair of legs to clean these breathing organs and to moisten them with water. The organs require water to properly function, and the coconut crab provides this by stroking its wet legs over the spongy tissues nearby. Coconut crabs may drink water from small puddles by transferring it from their chelipeds to their maxillipeds.

In addition to the branchiostegal lung, the coconut crab has an additional rudimentary set of gills. Although these gills are comparable in number to aquatic species from the families Paguridae and Diogenidae, they are reduced in size and have comparatively less surface area.

The coconut crab has a well-developed sense of smell, which it uses to locate its food. The process of smelling works very differently depending on whether the smelled molecules are hydrophilic molecules in water or hydrophobic molecules in air. Crabs that live in water have specialized organs called aesthetascs on their antennae to determine both the denseness and the direction of a scent. Coconut crabs live on the land, so the aesthetascs on their antennae are shorter and blunter than those of other crabs and are more similar those of insects.

While insects and the coconut crab originate from different paths, the same need to track smells in the air led to the development of remarkably similar organs. Coconut crabs flick their antennae as insects do to enhance their reception. Their sense of smell can detect interesting odors over large distances. The smells of rotting meat, bananas, and coconuts, all potential food sources, catch their attention especially. The olfactory system in the coconut crab’s brain is well-developed compared to other areas of the brain.

Lifecycle

Coconut crabs mate frequently and quickly on dry land in the period from May to September, especially between early June and late August. Males have spermatophores and deposit a mass of spermatophores on the abdomens of the females; the oviducts opens at the base of the third pereiopods, and fertilisation is thought to occur on the external surface of the abdomen, as the eggs pass through the spermatophore mass. The extrusion of eggs occurs on land in crevices or burrows near the shore. The female lays her eggs shortly after mating and glues them to the underside of her abdomen, carrying the fertilised eggs underneath her body for a few months. At the time of hatching, the female coconut crab migrates to the seashore and releases the larvae into the ocean. This usually takes place on rocky shores at dusk, especially when this coincides with high tide. The empty egg cases remain on the female’s body after the larvae have been released, and the female eats the egg cases within a few days. The larvae float in the pelagic zone of the ocean with other plankton for 3–4 weeks, during which a large number of them are eaten by predators. The larvae pass through three to five zoea stages before moulting into the postlarval glaucothoe stage; this process takes from 25–33 days. Upon reaching the glaucothoe stage of development, they settle to the bottom, find and wear a suitably sized gastropod shell, and migrate to the shoreline with other terrestrial hermit crabs. At that time, they sometimes visit dry land. Afterwards, they leave the ocean permanently and lose the ability to breathe in water. As with all hermit crabs, they change their shells as they grow. Young coconut crabs that cannot find a seashell of the right size often use broken coconut pieces. When they outgrow their shells, they develop a hardened abdomen. The coconut crab reaches sexual maturity around 5 years after hatching. They reach their maximum size only after 40–60 years.

Distribution

Coconut crabs live in the Indian Ocean and the central Pacific Ocean, with a distribution that closely matches that of the coconut palm. The western limit of the range of B. latro is Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania, while the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn mark the northern and southern limits, respectively, with very few population in the subtropics, such as the Ryukyu Islands. Some evidence indicates the coconut crab once lived on the mainland of Australia, Madagascar, RodriguesEaster IslandTokelau, the Marquesas islands, and possibly India, but is now locally extinct in those areas. As they cannot swim as adults, coconut crabs must have colonised the islands as planktonic larvae.

Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean has the largest and densest population of coconut crabs in the world, although it is outnumbered there by more than 50 times by the Christmas Island red crab (Gecarcoidea natalis). Other Indian Ocean populations exist on the Seychelles, including Aldabra and Cosmoledo, but the coconut crab is extinct on the central islands. Coconut crabs occur on several of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal. They occur on most of the islands, and the northern atolls, of the Chagos Archipelago.

In the Pacific, the coconut crab’s range became known gradually. Charles Darwin believed it was only found on “a single coral island north of the Society group“. The coconut crab is far more widespread, though it is not abundant on every Pacific island it inhabits. Large populations exist on the Cook Islands, especially PukapukaSuwarrowMangaiaTakuteaMaukeAtiu, and Palmerston Island. These are close to the eastern limit of its range, as are the Line Islands of Kiribati, where the coconut crab is especially frequent on Teraina (Washington Island), with its abundant coconut palm forest. The Gambier Islands mark the species’ eastern limit.

Habitat

Coconut crabs are considered one of the most terrestrial-adapted of the decapods, with most aspects of its life oriented to, and centered around such an existence; they will actually drown in sea water in less than a day. Coconut crabs live alone in burrows and rock crevices, depending on the local terrain. They dig their own burrows in sand or loose soil. During the day, the animal stays hidden to reduce water loss from heat. The coconut crabs’ burrows contain very fine yet strong fibres of the coconut husk which the animal uses as bedding. While resting in its burrow, the coconut crab closes the entrances with one of its claws to create the moist microclimate within the burrow necessary for its breathing organs. In areas with a large coconut crab population, some may come out during the day, perhaps to gain an advantage in the search for food. Other times, they emerge if it is moist or raining, since these conditions allow them to breathe more easily. They live almost exclusively on land, returning to the sea only to release their eggs; on Christmas Island, for instance, B. latro is abundant 6 km (3.7 mi) from the sea.

Relationship with humans

Adult coconut crabs have no known predators apart from other coconut crabs and humans. Its large size and the quality of its meat means that the coconut crab is extensively hunted and is very rare on islands with a human population. The coconut crab is eaten as a delicacy – and as an aphrodisiac – on various islands, and intensive hunting has threatened the species’ survival in some areas.

While the coconut crab itself is not innately poisonous, it may become so depending on its diet, and cases of coconut crab poisoning have occurred. For instance, consumption of the sea mango, Cerbera manghas, by the coconut crab may make the coconut crab toxic due to the presence of cardiac cardenolides.

The pincers of the coconut crab are powerful enough to cause noticeable pain to a human; furthermore, the coconut crab often keeps its hold for extended periods of time. Thomas Hale Streets reports a trick used by Micronesians of the Line Islands to get a coconut crab to loosen its grip: “It may be interesting to know that in such a dilemma a gentle titillation of the under soft parts of the body with any light material will cause the crab to loosen its hold.”

In the Cook Islands, the coconut crab is known as unga or kaveu, and in the Mariana Islands it is called ayuyu, and is sometimes associated with taotaomo’na because of the traditional belief that ancestral spirits can return in the form of animals such as the coconut crab.

Conservation

Coconut crab populations in several areas have declined or become locally extinct due to both habitat loss and human predation. In 1981, it was listed on the IUCN Red List as a vulnerable species, but a lack of biological data caused its assessment to be amended to “data deficient” in 1996. In 2018, IUCN updated its assessment to “vulnerable”.

Conservation management strategies have been put in place in some regions, such as minimum legal size limit restrictions in Guam and Vanuatu, and a ban on the capture of egg-bearing females in Guam and the Federated States of Micronesia. In the Northern Mariana Islands, hunting of non-egg-bearing adults above a carapace length of 76 mm (3.0 in) may take place in September, October, and November, and only under licence. The bag limit is five coconut crabs on any given day, and 15 across the whole season.

In Tuvalu, coconut crabs live on the motu (islets) in the Funafuti Conservation Area, a marine conservation area covering 33 km2 (12.74 mi2mi) of reef, lagoon and motu on the western side of Funafuti atoll.

Read more here: Coconut crab – Wikipedia

Coconut crab’s bone-crushing grip is 10 times stronger than ours.

Its handshake could crush your fingers. A giant crab from the Asia-Pacific region can lift the weight of a small child and has the most powerful claw strength of any crustacean.

The coconut crab – Birgus latro – lives on islands in the Indian and Pacific oceans, and can reach a weight of 4 kilograms, a length of 40 centimetres and a leg span of almost a metre.

Its large claws are strong enough to lift up to 28 kilograms and crack open hard coconuts – hence its name. However, the squeezing force of its claws has never been precisely measured until now.

Coconut crab’s bone-crushing grip is 10 times stronger than ours | New Scientist

Swarm of giant and hungry robber crabs crashes BBQ on Christmas Island, Australia | VikingLifeBlog