Hermit crabs are fascinating little creatures. There are two kinds of hermit crabs: Terrestrial crabs and aquatic hermit crabs. Here are 8 more interesting facts about hermit crabs.
Hermit crabs are dependent on their shells and only leave to either copulate or find better accommodation.
They are crustaceans, suggesting that they are related to shrimp, crabs and lobsters. Although it has the word ‘crab’ in its name, they are more closely related and their shell looks more similar to a lobster’s. They are not considered true crabs because they do not possess hard exoskeletons and need to re-accommodate for protection.
Hermit crabs moult as they grow, much like other crustaceans. This involves the shedding of exoskeletons and re-growing them. Due to the time of vulnerability during moulting, they often dig themselves into the sand for protection.
As hermit crabs are scavengers, they eat dead animals along with anything they could find. It is believed that they are covered with sensory hairs which can be used for taste and smell.
They have symbiotic relationships with some organisms such as anemones. While the anemones help sting predators and help the hermit crabs blend in with their surroundings, the anemones benefit by eating meal leftovers of the crab’s as well as being transported to other sources of food. When they move shells, they have been seen to transfer the anemones with them.
If they are found in shells that appear too small for them and nothing larger is available to them, they have the ability to decrease their size moult to moult.
As hermits are extraordinary creatures and fun to watch, it is no surprise that numerous people want to have them as pets. However, it is important to know that they are very complex animals and they need to live in the wild to be happy and healthy. The painted shells that the hermit crabs are often sold in are poisoning these creatures slowly.
They have two pairs of walking legs and a pair of claws. They also possess two eyes on stalks, and this makes them see what’s around them much easier.
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