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Coconut Crab 10 Vatu Vanuatu Authentic Coin Money for Jewelry and Craft Making (Robber Crab) (Palm Thief) (Hermit Crab) (Melanesia)

Coconut Crab 10 Vatu Vanuatu Authentic Coin Money for Jewelry and Craft Making (Robber Crab) (Palm Thief) (Hermit Crab) (Melanesia)

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Coconut Crab 10 Vatu Vanuatu Authentic Coin Money for Jewelry and Craft Making (Robber Crab) (Palm Thief) (Hermit Crab) (Melanesia)

Reverse: Coconut crab, Birgus latro, surrounded by coconut trees. Of the Hermit crab family, it is the largest of all terrestrial crabs, present from the Seychelles to Polynesia.
Lettering: 10 VATU

Coat of arms of Vanuatu: A Melanesian warrior armed with a spear, standing before a mountain; behind him a boar's tusk and two leaves of the namele (coconut palm).
Translation: Republic of Vanuatu
In God We Stand

Issuer Vanuatu
Period Republic (1982-date)
Type Standard circulation coin
Years 1983-2009
Value 10 Vatu
10 VUV = 0.09 USD
Currency Vatu (1982-date)
Composition Copper-nickel
Weight 6.1 g
Diameter 24 mm
Thickness 1.89 mm
Shape Round
Orientation Medal alignment ↑↑
Number N# 1664
References KM# 6, Schön# 19

The coconut crab (Birgus latro) is a species of terrestrial hermit crab, also known as the robber crab or palm thief. It is the largest terrestrial arthropod in the world, with a weight up to 4.1 kg (9.0 lb). It can grow to up to 1 m (3 ft 3 in) in length from each tip to tip of the leg. It is found on islands across the Indian Ocean, and parts of the Pacific Ocean as far east as the Gambier Islands and Pitcairn Islands, similar to the distribution of the coconut palm; it has been extirpated from most areas with a significant human population, including mainland Australia and Madagascar. Coconut crabs also live off the coast of Africa near Zanzibar.

The coconut crab is the only species of the genus Birgus, and is related to the terrestrial hermit crabs of the genus Coenobita. It shows a number of adaptations to life on land. Like other hermit crabs, juvenile coconut crabs use empty gastropod shells for protection, but the adults develop a tough exoskeleton on their abdomens and stop carrying a shell. Coconut crabs have organs known as branchiostegal lungs, which are used for breathing, instead of their vestigial gills, and after the juvenile stage they will drown if immersed in water for too long. They have an acute sense of smell which they use to find potential food sources, and which has developed convergently with that of insects.

Adult coconut crabs feed primarily on fleshy fruits, nuts, seeds, and the pith of fallen trees, but they will eat carrion and other organic matter opportunistically. Anything left unattended on the ground is a potential source of food, which they will investigate and may carry away – thereby getting the alternative name of "robber crab." The species is popularly associated with the coconut palm, yet coconuts are not a significant part of its diet. Although it lives in a burrow, the crab has been filmed climbing coconut and pandanus trees. No film shows a crab selectively picking coconut fruit, though they might dislodge ripe fruit that otherwise would fall naturally. Climbing is an immediate escape route (if too far from the burrow) to avoid predation (when young) by large sea birds, or cannibalism (at any age) by bigger, older crabs.

Mating occurs on dry land, but the females return to the edge of the sea to release their fertilized eggs, and then retreat back up the beach. The larvae that hatch are planktonic for 3–4 weeks, before settling to the sea floor, entering a gastropod shell and returning to dry land. Sexual maturity is reached after about 5 years, and the total lifespan may be over 60 years. In the 3–4 weeks that the larvae remain at sea, their chances of reaching another suitable location is enhanced if a floating life support system avails itself to them. Examples of the systems that provide such opportunities include floating logs and rafts of marine or terrestrial vegetation. Similarly, floating coconuts can be a very significant part of the crab's dispersal options. Fossils of this crab date back to the Miocene.

Relationship with humans
Adult coconut crabs have no known predators apart from other coconut crabs and humans. Its large size and the quality of its meat means that the coconut crab is extensively hunted and is very rare on islands with a human population. The coconut crab is eaten as a delicacy – and as an aphrodisiac – on various islands, and intensive hunting has threatened the species' survival in some areas.

While the coconut crab itself is not innately poisonous, it may become so depending on its diet, and cases of coconut crab poisoning have occurred. For instance, consumption of the sea mango, Cerbera manghas, by the coconut crab may make the coconut crab toxic due to the presence of cardiac cardenolides.

The pincers of the coconut crab are powerful enough to cause noticeable pain to a human; furthermore, the coconut crab often keeps its hold for extended periods of time. Thomas Hale Streets reports a trick used by Micronesians of the Line Islands to get a coconut crab to loosen its grip: "It may be interesting to know that in such a dilemma a gentle titillation of the under soft parts of the body with any light material will cause the crab to loosen its hold."

In the Cook Islands, the coconut crab is known as unga or kaveu, and in the Mariana Islands it is called ayuyu, and is sometimes associated with taotaomo'na because of the traditional belief that ancestral spirits can return in the form of animals such as the coconut crab.


The Coat of arms of Vanuatu features a Melanesian warrior holding the spear standing before the mountain superimposed on the boar's tusk encircling two crossed namele fern fronds and the golden scroll on the bottom with the National Motto that reads: LONG GOD YUMI STANAP (In Bislama for, "IN GOD WE STAND"). The Bislama "long" is a preposition derived from the word "along" and has several flexible meanings, "in, on, at," and "with." When used referring to another with personhood, it is generally understood to mean "with (said person)."


Vanuatu (English: /ˌvɑːnuˈɑːtuː/ officially the Republic of Vanuatu, is an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 540 kilometres (340 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, east of New Guinea, southeast of the Solomon Islands, and west of Fiji.

Vanuatu was first inhabited by Melanesian people. The first Europeans to visit the islands were a Spanish expedition led by Portuguese navigator Fernandes de Queirós, who arrived on the largest island, Espíritu Santo, in 1606. Queirós claimed the archipelago for Spain, as part of the colonial Spanish East Indies, and named it La Austrialia del Espíritu Santo.

In the 1880s, France and the United Kingdom claimed parts of the archipelago, and in 1906, they agreed on a framework for jointly managing the archipelago as the New Hebrides through an Anglo-French condominium.

An independence movement arose in the 1970s, and the Republic of Vanuatu was founded in 1980. Since independence, the country has become a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, Organisation internationale de la Francophonie and the Pacific Islands Forum.

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