Do you own a saltwater aquarium? Do you take pride in your tropical fish? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then you’ve probably heard of the infamous dwarf Caribbean reef shark, also known as the red-tipped shark. These sharks have been terrorizing divers and snorkelers for decades. While many believe they are harmless, there are still a lot of myths surrounding these little terrors. Does that mean they are dangerous? Are they venomous? The answer may surprise you – but not in a good way. In this article, we will discuss everything you ever wanted to know about the infamous coconut crabs. From their appearance, where they can be found, how deadly they are, and how to keep them from bothering your pets and children. Read on to learn more about these tiny terrors!
Can Coconut Crabs Kill You?
No, coconut crabs cannot kill you. While they are capable of inflicting a nasty bite, they are not venomous and do not carry any diseases that could harm humans. Coconut crabs can get up to 3 feet in length and weigh up to 9 pounds, so they can definitely do some damage if they wanted to, but they are not considered a deadly species.
How To Keep A Coconut Crab As A Pet
1. Get A Wild-Caught Coconut Crab
The first thing you need to do when you want to keep a crab as a pet is to get a wild-caught coconut crab. Wild-caught crabs are the most common crabs you’ll find on the market. These crabs were either caught by the fishers themselves or by an exporter/importer. Wild-caught crabs are typically more expensive, but they come with a lot of benefits. First of all, wild-caught crabs are more nutritious than farmed crabs. They’re also more likely to be free of harmful bacteria due to their natural diet. Wild-caught crabs are also more likely to be in their juvenile state. This means they’re less likely to grow up to be a ‘large’ crab that is hard to handle. When you get a wild-caught coconut crab, ensure you ask the fishers where they got it from. If they don’t know, don’t buy from them.
2. Ensure The Crusty Shell Is Clean
Crabs like your pet coconut crab should have a crusty shell. This is the outer layer of the crab’s shell and it’s usually marked with brown patches. You don’t want to get a pet crab with a clean shell. Clean shells are the result of a pet crab that was kept in an unhealthy tank. If your coconut crab didn’t have a crusty shell, ensure you scrub its shell well. Scrubbing removes any bacteria and parasites that could be on the crab’s shell. You can easily clean your pet crab’s shell by rubbing it with salt. Make sure you rinse the crab with freshwater after scrubbing its shell. This process should be done every time you get a new crab. You don’t want to keep a crab that’s been in an unhealthy tank.
3. Get A Tank That’s The Right Size
The next thing you need to ensure when you want to keep a crab as a pet is that the tank is the right size. Crabs need a lot of space in their tank. They also need a well-fitting lid on their tank. Crabs like the coconut crab need plenty of fresh water in their tank but they also need to get enough air. If a crab doesn’t get enough air in its tank, it can die. Your pet crab will need a tank that’s approximately 10 gallons in size. 10 gallons is more than enough for a single coconut crab. However, when you keep a few crabs, you may want to get a bigger tank. You can easily increase the space in your crab tank by using an aquarium lid.
4. Choose Proper Hardware For Your Tank
Once you know the tank’s size, the next thing you need to do is to pick out the hardware for your tank. Crabs need a mesh lid for their tank. They also need a strong crab trap in order to catch the crab. You can get a mesh lid from aquarium stores or you can make your own mesh lid. If you don’t want to make your own mesh lid, you can also use a plastic container as a lid for your pet crab tank. Make sure the lid doesn’t have any holes. Your crab can easily escape through those holes, making it easy for predators to catch the crab. Crab traps are also important. If a trap isn’t strong enough, your crab may escape. However, if a trap isn’t strong enough, it can easily break.
5. Feed Your New Pet A Healthy Diet
The next thing you need to ensure when you want to keep a coconut crab as a pet is that you feed it a healthy diet. The diet should be based on a mix of fresh and sea foods. Fresh foods include fruits and vegetables, while sea foods include fish, mussels, and other crustaceans. Coconut crabs usually eat a mix of fresh and sea foods. They’re also very fond of rambutan fruits. This means you can get your pet crab to eat rambutan easily. You can also get your pet crab to eat other fruits that are in season such as papaya and pomegranate. Crabs are also very fond of fish. You can feed your pet crab some saltwater fish such as anchovies, sardines, or mackerel. You can also feed your pet crab freshwater fish such as piranha, gourami, and freshwater catfish. If you don’t know how to feed your crab, you can always learn. There are plenty of online guides on how to keep a crab as a pet. You can also ask your local aquarium store on how to feed your crab.
6. Carefully Monitor Your New Pet’s Health
The last thing you need to ensure when you want to keep a crab as a pet is that you carefully monitor its health. Crabs are typically very hardy. However, they can also die if they aren’t given enough care. Crabs need to be fed a healthy diet, they need to have plenty of water in their tank, and they need to be carefully monitored. If a crab isn’t given enough water in its tank, it could die from dehydration. If a crab isn’t fed enough, it could die from malnutrition. You can easily monitor your crab’s health by testing the water in its tank for pH, salinity, and temperature.
Why Are Coconut Crabs So Dangerous?
Coconut Crabs Are Poisonous.
If that wasn’t enough, coconut crabs can actually give you a nasty bite too. Seafood poisoning is the most common form of poisoning caused by a crab, but depending on the kind of crab, other substances in the body can also cause serious health complications. Bites from the coconut crab contain a toxin called “cocaine” that causes severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Due to these dangerous properties, many people now keep these crabs as pets, but this could be dangerous too. Human caretakers often feed their pets scraps of fish or even pure coconut, which can easily cause poisoning in humans. Coconut crabs are also often kept in tropical gardens where they can easily ruin fresh produce.
They Can Swim In Water.
Coconut crabs aren’t only terrestrial creatures. Coconut crabs have been known to swim for short distances in the ocean. Although they are not able to swim very far, their ability to quickly swim from one area of the ocean to another means that they can quickly move between key areas in their range. If you live near a coastal area, you should be careful not to leave any pieces of food outside where your coconut crab neighbors could get to it.
They Can Climb Pretty Well.
Coconut crabs are known for climbing trees. This is especially relevant for homeowners who have coconut trees in their yards. Because coconut crabs can swim and climb so well, they can quickly move between different areas of your yard and outdoor areas. If you have a coconut tree in your yard, you should be careful not to leave any food outside where the crab could get to it. Crabs have also been known to climb fences and walls in search of food.
They Have Super Strong Jaws.
Coconut crabs are known for having super strong jaws that are capable of breaking through thick tree bark. They can also crush coconut husks, which means that you should be careful when you’re storing your coconut husks in your backyard. If a crab has managed to find a way into your yard, it could end up eating your husks.
They Carry Diseases And Allergens.
Coconut crabs carry diseases and allergens that can be dangerous to humans. Some of these diseases include salmonella, coli, and cholera. Coconut crab allergens can cause a severe allergic reaction in some people that causes rashes, hives, and even anaphylactic shock.
Coconut crabs are not dangerous, but they are frightening. These crabs have been known to attack humans and are capable of causing serious damage with their spiny exoskeleton. Fortunately, the species is not native to North America, and therefore, has few natural predators. To keep a coconut crab as a pet, you will need to provide a protective habitat. This will help keep the crab from attacking you. You will also need to feed your new pet a variety of fruits and vegetables.