Land crabs | Christmas Island National Park

Christmas Island is home to the most remarkable abundance and diversity of land crabs in the world. The land crabs have evolved from marine ancestors as shown by their return to the sea for spawning. Their scavenging activities recycle nutrients locked in fallen leaves, their burrowing tills the soil, and their browsing on tree fruits and seedlings is an important factor in determining forest composition. Apart from the 20 land crabs shown in this brochure, over 160 other species have been recorded from the reefs and shallows of Christmas Island.