Land Crab

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The land crab is a member of the family ‘Gecarcinidae’, and is remarkable for the curious modification of the carapace in the region of the gills, which enables it to lead a terrestrial existence. The land crabs occurs in the warmer regions of both hemispheres, but the best known one is the black ‘Gecarcinus ruricola’ of Jamaica and the West Indian islands generally. It inhabits burrows on the hills a short distance from the coast, wanders about at night or during rains, in search of vegetable food, and makes an annual migration to the shore to spawn, often passing through houses instead of going around them. They are sometimes eaten. Many other crabs are largely terrestrial, as the oriental cocoa-nut crabs; and a species of Ocypoda very troublesom in Ceylon, by burrowing in lawns, garden paths, and the like.




John H. Finley ed. Nelson's Perpetual Loose-Leaf Encyclopaedia (vol. 7) (New York, NY: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1917) 195


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