Q:

Can hermit crabs live out of their shells?

A:

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.

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:

    What eats hermit crabs?

    A:

    Hermit crabs use their shells to hide from predators like seagulls, larger crabs, sea stars and snailfish. These animals are at their most vulnerable when they leave one shell for another, which they must do as they grow because their shells do not grow with them. However, some predators can either bite through the hard shell or pull the crab out and eat it.

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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:

    How long do hermit crabs live?

    A:

    Hermit crabs kept as pets can easily live for over 10 years if cared for properly. One crab owner, Carol Ormes of Ft. Myers, Florida, kept a pair of crabs that lived to be over 30 years old.

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  • 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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