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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Full Answer

The size of a particular hermit crab influences how many times it molts on a yearly basis. Large hermit crabs have only one period of molting in a year, while smaller hermit crabs can molt a few times per year, as they have a higher growth rate. Hermit crabs are 10-legged crustaceans, but four of the legs are hidden. As hermit crabs grow through molting, they need to accordingly adjust the size of the shell that they carry. While snail shells are some of the most common for a hermit crab to carry, the crabs have differing preferences.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Do hermit crabs shed their skin?

    A:

    Hermit crabs molt, or shed their skin, once a year as a part of their regular growth cycle. During the molting process, a hermit crab may bury itself in the gravel or sand and stay there for a few weeks to shed its exoskeleton and to grow a new one.

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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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  • Q:

    How do crabs breathe?

    A:

    The vast majority of crabs have gills, much like fish, which extract oxygen dissolved in water. Even when they are on land, the gills can still absorb oxygen as long as they are kept moist. There is also a small selection of land crabs that have dual-circulatory systems, meaning they have lungs as well as gills.

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  • Q:

    How do crabs move?

    A:

    Crabs walk sideways due to the structural component of the hinges that are present in their legs. Although crabs are capable of shuffling forward slowly, they are able to move a lot faster if they rely on moving by flexing the second joint of each leg, which only binds sideways.

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