Monday, July 12, 2010

Coconut Crab in Cagayan de oro

Maybe you wonder what is this strange creature is. It is nowhere to be found here in the Cagayn de oro city. This is from the island of Batanes brought here by my uncle who just came back from their Summer vacation from Batanes. The coconut crabs (Birgus latro) are also known as "tatus" in Batanes, Philippines, which literally means ‘palm thief’. They are a popular delicacy in the locality because of its delicious taste. They are being cooked by boiling but sometimes they also use sauce and other seasonings.The coconut crab climbs trees to eat coconuts or fruit, to escape the heat or to escape predators. It is a common perception that the coconut crab cuts the coconuts from the tree to eat them on the ground . Coconut crabs cut holes into coconuts with their strong claws and eat the contents; this behavior is unique in the animal kingdom.In the 1980s, Holger Rumpf was able to confirm a report, observing and studying how the crabs open coconuts in the wild. The animal has developed a special technique to do so: if the coconut is still covered with husk, it will use its claws to rip off strips, always starting from the side with the three germination pores, the group of three small circles found on the outside of the coconut. Once the pores are visible, the crab will bang its pincers on one of them until they break. Afterwards, it will turn around and use the smaller pincers on its other legs to pull out the white flesh of the coconut. Using their strong claws, larger individuals can even break the hard coconut into smaller pieces for easier consumption. But do not worry this coconu crabs will not be cooked for food because my uncle plans to make an artificial habitat for it so that many Ivatan children here in Mindanao specially in Malinao, Kalilangan, Bukidnon can see a real live coconut crab.

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