MONSTER CRABS

Among the modern arthropods that gave me inspiration for my giant insects would be the red crabs of Christmas Island and the robber crabs that hunt them. Every spawning season, the jungle floor is infested with over 45 million red crabs that march through the jungle to spawn in the sea. Along the way, some of these crabs are hunted down, killed, and eaten by the much larger robber crabs. Robber crabs are the largest land-based arthropods in the modern world, reaching up to a meter in length. That is pretty impressive by today’s standards even though the oxygen levels are half what they were during the Carboniferous Period 300 million years ago. As I wrote the creepy crawly scene in my dinosaur book, I envisioned arthropods that were even larger and nastier than these crabs. I can even see these crabs as being bountiful prey for small theropod dinosaurs that would snatch them off the jungle floor.

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