Some of the most important and interesting adaptations the hermit crab have developed is its diligent exploration and occupation of gastropod shells. Unlike other crustaceans, the hermit crab does not have its own shell. Instead, it needs to find a shell to occupy to protect itself from aquatic and terrestrial predators that exist in an intertidal environment.Know More
The hermit crab is painstakingly careful in choosing a shell. It inspects and tests a number of shells before it is satisfied with one. Sometimes, hermit crabs fight with each other to get the shell they want. The discarded shell not only becomes a hermit crab's home, but it also protects its soft and exposed abdomen, which lacks a protective exoskeleton. Baby hermit crabs learn to seek out the shells of sea snails. To carry a load heavier than they are, hermit crabs develop strong hind legs, which clasp onto the sides of the shells as they crawl. If there are no shells to be found in its habitat, a hermit crab may settle for anything in which they can crawl and hide, such as a plastic cup or a broken liquor bottle.
Hermit crabs have long adapted to living on land. Although they have gills to breathe, these dry up, and they are eventually unable to breathe in oxygen through their gills. Hermits crabs, being terrestrial crustaceans, can drown when they are exposed to too much water or become dehydrated in the absence of water.Learn more about Crabs
Like other members of the order Decapoda, hermit crabs have a total of 10 legs. These include the chelipeds, or front claws, which are used for grasping and pinching. The larger of the two chelipeds is designed for self-defense and for protectively closing the opening of the crab's shell.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
When a hermit crab molts, it buries itself in sand or pebbles for several days and then emerges. Dead hermit crabs may exude a foul odor after several days. Assume that the hermit crab is molting, not dead, and do not attempt to remove the crab's body from its shell.Full Answer >
In captivity, hermit crabs are omnivorous and eat hermit crab pellets, as well as fruits such as apples, bananas, and grapes, and green vegetables such as kale and broccoli. They also eat calcium supplements such as crushed oyster shells and cuttlefish bone.Full Answer >