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Bald Eagle Defeated By Crab

In the heart of nature, various surprising animal encounters happen without humans ever knowing. Still, one such remarkable encounter happened to be recorded for the whole world to see – a tiny crab defeats a mighty bald eagle.

The Bald Eagle

bald eagle
Image via Pixabay

Let’s dive into the world of eagles and discover how they survive in the wild, relying on their keen eyesight, piercing sharp talons and beaks, as well as their incredible carnivorous instincts.

Eagle Diversity 

bald eagle
Image via Pixabay

Eagles come in many different forms, ranging from the small South Nicobar serpent eagle weighing only 450 g to the largest of all, the giant Philippine eagle weighing up to 8 kg. But one thing that binds these birds is their predatory instincts. As seen in the video below, the bald eagle is characterized by a white head contrasting with a dark brown body, with sharp talons and a yellow break. 

Eagle Habitat 

Image via unsplash

The habitat of eagles ranges around all parts of the world, they can be found in tundras, rainforests, and desert biomes. However, golden and bald eagles are very common in North America.

Breeding Habits

Bald eagle
Two Bald Eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis ) fight for prey. Alaska. Image via depositphotos

The bald eagle mates for life, and a female eagle will lay between 1-3 eggs per year, which take approximately 35 days to hatch. Once the chicks have hatched, the parents take turns to brood the hatchling for the first week. 


Bald eagle flying
Bald eagle national animal of the U.S. Image by Stephen Meyers via Pexels

After that, the male will forage and bring food for the female and the eaglets. The eaglets only grow into striking appearance when they are around 4 or 5 years old until they have brown and mottled white feathers. 

Eagle Diet 

bald eagle
Image via Pixabay

Eagles primarily feast on live prey, such as small mammals like rabbits, muskrats, and smaller birds. They also feed on carrion. The bald eagle is an opportunistic forager but prefers fish as their primary food source. It is not unlikely for them to eat crabs and other marine creatures. 

Crab Pinchers

fiddler crab
Uca vocans, Fiddler Crab walking in mangrove forest at Phuket beach, Thailand. Image by wuttichok via

Crab pinchers, or chelae, are multifunctional tools used for defense, feeding, and communication. Crabs use their pinchers to grasp and manipulate food, fend off predators, and engage in battles with other crabs. They also use them in mating displays and territorial disputes.

Do All Crabs Have Pinchers?

coconut crab
A closeup shot of a Coconut crab (Birgus latro, robber crab or palm thief). Image via depositphotos

Yes, all crabs have pinchers, although their size and shape can vary greatly between species. Some crabs, like the fiddler crab, have one noticeably larger pincher, which is used for attracting mates and warding off rivals.

How Strong Are Crab Pinchers?

Image via unsplash

The strength of a crab’s pinchers varies by species and size. Some crabs, like the coconut crab, have extremely powerful pinchers capable of cracking open coconuts. Even smaller crabs can deliver a surprisingly strong pinch relative to their size.

Can Their Pincers Grow Back?

sand crab
Image via unsplash

Crabs can regenerate lost limbs, including pinchers. If a crab loses a pincher, it will gradually grow back over several molting cycles. The new pincher may start smaller but will eventually reach normal size

Are Crab Pinchers Dangerous To Humans?

Image by David Csepp, NMFS/AKFSC/ABL., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

While crab pinchers can cause pain and minor injury to humans, they are not typically dangerous. Larger crabs can deliver a more painful pinch that might break the skin, but most crab species encountered by humans are not harmful. It’s always best to handle crabs with care and respect to avoid being pinched.

Crab Defeats Bald Eagle

bald eagle
Image via Depositphotos

In a video captured on YouTube, a lucky bystander captured an interesting encounter between a bald eagle and a crab. 

The Video

Bald Eagle. Image via Depositphotos.
YouTube video
Video / Small Pocket Library Videos

What Happened?

bald eagle
Image by Darrell Gough via Pexels

The video shows the eagle bending to catch the crab in its beak, giving it some lee-way. This enables the crab to use its pointy legs and pincers to take advantage of this unexpected attack. Clearly in distress, the crab uses its legs to wriggle around and poke the poor eagle in the eye. 


Image via pexels

This discomfort experienced by the eagle leaves it flailing around in the water as it tries to get rid of the tiny crab crawling all over its face and head. The video ends on a high note as the 2 parties part ways. 

Eagle vs. Crab: Conclusion

Image via pexels

It is a privilege to be allowed into the animal kingdom to witness such experiences. It opens our eyes to things that are unseen and gives us a different perspective on the world around us. I hope you enjoyed reading about this crabby encounter. 

More In The Animal Kingdom

bald eagle
Image via Depositphotos

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