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Author Topic: Bevingtons Journal and Coconut Crabs  (Read 5598 times)

Randy Conrad

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Bevingtons Journal and Coconut Crabs
« on: April 02, 2023, 02:06:55 PM »

 Last evening I dove into Bevingtons journal and stumbled upon something that had me thinking. In the journal the comment came up about coconut crabs eating humans..."Kerosene had run out and we couldn’t have a light in camp to keep the coconut crabs off. Maude and I didn’t worry a patch as they don’t eat humans (!) though they are alarming to look at." With that comment made...was wondering what kind of test has been done to see how snow and coconut crabs act around human cadavers. We've seen how the pig test went...but curious to know if they know the difference from pig decomposition to human decomposition. In reality is there a difference? Love to hear answers...thanks
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Bevingtons Journal and Coconut Crabs
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2023, 03:34:59 PM »

Crabs are nor picky eaters.   All crabs eat carrion.  We've never tested coconut crabs on humans because no one has volunteered to be a cadaver.
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Don White

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Re: Bevingtons Journal and Coconut Crabs
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2023, 09:10:14 PM »

I've taken Bevington's statement to mean that coconut crabs don't try to eat live humans. Ric has described them as "rather shy." However, I think they would not shy from eating a dead human or dead anything else. A pig is close enough, biologically, as a test. Reportedly, Pacific Islanders who ate people called them "long pig" though of course this may not be true.
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Christian Stock

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Re: Bevingtons Journal and Coconut Crabs
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2023, 02:37:33 PM »

They are attracted to dead, decaying animals - whether pig, people or chicken necks. Stinkier the better. I've eaten many blue crabs that thought they lucked into a free chicken dinner.

https://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-the-wednesday-edition-1.6137524/a-chemical-in-plastic-is-tricking-hermit-crabs-into-thinking-trash-is-food-1.6137530
« Last Edit: April 03, 2023, 02:41:11 PM by Christian Stock »
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Don White

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Re: Bevingtons Journal and Coconut Crabs
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2023, 07:15:58 PM »

Funny - interesting -- that some of the tastiest critters are scavengers.
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