Q:

Can hermit crabs live out of their shells?

A:

Quick Answer

Hermit crabs have soft, vulnerable abdomens and need to wear shells to protect themselves. A hermit crab without a shell eventually falls victim to predators or even other hermit crabs.

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Full Answer

Hermit crabs grow throughout their lives and wear many different shells at different life stages. Pet hermit crabs should have a variety of shell choices available since they are picky about finding a shell that fits well. Hermit crabs that cannot find a replacement shell readily may try to hide behind a piece of coconut fiber or other debris. Pet crabs prefer shells with round openings and smooth internal surfaces.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Where do crabs live?

    A:

    Crabs live in the water, which includes the oceans, rivers, lakes and ponds; most crab species are fond of freshwater. Crabs come in different sizes, ranging from a few millimeters to up to 12 feet. Even though they live in water, crabs sometimes venture to land, and certain species, such as the robber crabs, can even climb trees.

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  • Q:

    How long do crabs live?

    A:

    The lifespan of a crab varies according to species. A blue crab lives one to eight years, while a hermit crab lives 30 to 70 years. The Dungeness crab lives up to 10 years, and the horseshoe crab lives up to 20 years or more.

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  • Q:

    Do hermit crabs hibernate?

    A:

    Hermit crabs go through periods of highly sluggish activity, or even inactivity, referred to as molting. During molting, hermit crabs develop a new exoskeleton and shed their old exoskeleton.

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  • Q:

    What does it mean when a hermit crab won't go back into its shell?

    A:

    Hermit crabs may abandon their shells for a variety of reasons. Uncomfortable shells, low or high temperatures and humidity levels, stress and molting are the most common explanations.

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