OF THE two preceding images, the second has been authenticated (it appears in the photostream of a Flickr user named "BlueBec") and the first, though presumably just as authentic, has yet to be sourced. The EXIF data embedded in the image indicates the photo was taken on April 4, 2007 with an Olympus digital camera and was not subsequently edited.
Coconut crabs (also known as "robber crabs," scientific name Birgus latro) typically grow to about 16 inches in length, though there have been reports of specimens double that size. In any case, it is the world's largest species of land-crab and reputedly lives as long as 50 years.
An inhabitant of islands throughout the Indian and central Pacific oceans, the coconut crab tends to stick close to beaches, though it can't live in water. True to both of its common names, the omnivore's preferred food source is fallen coconuts, but it will accept whatever sustenance is at hand, including such delicacies as might be stolen from a garbage can.
Sources and further reading:
Cook Islands Natural Heritage Trust
Extraordinary Animals: An Encyclopedia of Curious and Unusual Animals
By Ross Piper (Westport, Conn: Greenwood Publishing, 2007)
Last updated: 03/11/09