Aldabra Island is home to one of the world’s largest populations of Giant Tortoises – around 150,000 Aldabra Giant Tortoises (Dipsochelys dussumieri) roam the atoll, free from human predation. Such was not always the case: 19th century whalers, sealers and long-distance ship voyagers often captured tortoises for food and by 1900 they were nearly extinct. Aldabra is also home to the world’s largest land crab, the Coconut Crab (Birgus latro).
The Giant Coconut Crab (Birgus latro) is the largest terrestrial arthropod in the world. It is known for its ability to crack coconuts with its strong pincers in order to eat the contents. This crab is more than 3 feet from head to tail and weighs up to 40 pounds, with a pair of large pincers strong enough to open coconuts.
"This has to be one happy coconut crab: it’s enjoying its namesake meal, after all. Coconut crabs have a few tricks up their sleeves (or do we mean claws?) when it comes to getting inside the hard exterior of the fruit. One method observed is that the crabs climb up a palm tree, coconut in tow, and drop it from a height. The crab itself then drops from the tree (which they can do from a height of 15 feet, unharmed) to hopefully find its meal conveniently cracked open from the fall."