Key Facts about Hermit Crab

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The majority of terrestrial hermit crab species worldwide have used trash as shells, according to a recent study by experts.

 About Hermit Crab

  • Hermit crabs are small crustaceans that lack a shell and must “borrow” one from another animal. 
  • They use empty snail shells (e.g., whelk or periwinkle) or other hollow objects as a shelter for partial containment and protection of the body.
  • Habitat: Hermit crabs, worldwide in distribution, occur in sandy- or muddy-bottomed marine waters and occasionally on land and in trees. 
  • Features:
    • They can grow up to 6 inches long.
    • There are two pairs of antennae and five pairs of legs.
    • They are opportunistic scavengers, feeding on anything they can find.
    • They have tough pincers but a soft body, which they coil up inside their borrowed shell, using their hooked tail to help them to grip on. 
    • They molt (shed their skin) and change shells as they grow.
    • Despite their name, hermit crabs are social creatures and can live together in pairs or groups.
    • They can live for up to 10 years.

Q1) What are crustaceans?

Crustaceans are invertebrate animals in the phylum Arthropoda, subphylum Crustacea, and include the barnacle, crab, crayfish, lobster, shrimp, water flea, and pill bug. Although largely aquatic, a few crustaceans are found in terrestrial habitats. Of the nearly 40,000 aquatic species of crustaceans, only about 10% occur in freshwater habitats.

Source: Majority of land hermit crab species now use trash for shells