Some animals have crushing bites that can break even bones, but the coconut crab can crush incredibly tough objects with nothing more than its hefty claws.
Image Credit: Anke Heldmann/YouTube
As their name suggests, these crabs have a particular liking for coconuts, which have a thick shell most animals can’t penetrate. Coconut crabs, on the other hand, are able to crush coconuts open with their incredibly powerful pincher.
Making them ideal coconut eaters, they are able to scale trees and climb to the top to reach them.
The claws of the coconut crab are immensely strong compared to the size of the coconut crab. Although the averagely nine-pound crab is pretty large from the start, it can heft objects that dwarf that number. They’ve been known to drag around objects that weigh as much as 60 pounds.
But that’s not even the most interesting about all of it. According to a study published in PLOS ONE, coconut crabs have the unique ability to exert nearly 3,300 Newtons (740 pounds) of force in a single pinch.
For comparison, an average person can only exert about 265 pounds of force with their jaws, so for such a small creature to have such a strong pinching force at their disposal is unheard of.
In the study, the researchers snatched up 29 coconut crabs from Okinawa, Japan and found that depending on their size, they can pinch at varying amounts of force. Smaller crabs exerted less force, and vice-versa.
Lead author Shin-ichiro Oka claims he was personally pinched on the palm of his hand twice during the study, a feeling he can only describe in vivid detail, “When I was pinched, I couldn’t do anything until they unfastened their claws. Although it was a few minutes, I felt eternal hell.”
According to the researchers, there’s no real explanation for how the crab’s claw can have such a powerful pinch. Examinations at the muscle in the claw itself show no indicators of the driving force behind the powerful pinch.
At this point, where the crab musters up that kind of strength still baffles researchers, but the studying will continue, as we’re hard pressed to learn more about their hidden strength.
Whatever you do, don't get pinched by one of these things; you might just lose a finger!
Source: Washington Post