Wild Fact #807 – Home Away from Home – Hermit Crab

The long weekend is just around the corner so I hope you have your plans figured out by now.  If you don’t then I want you to take a break from your weekend planning and enjoy today’s fact about the Hermit Crab.

The Hermit Crab is a small crustacean that can be found throughout the ocean, usually hanging out in tidal pools.  This particular crab is not related to the true crabs with the big difference being the hermit’s soft body.  In order to protect their soft, weak body from predators the Hermit Crab will find a sea-shell to call home.  Once they find one that fits just right they will pull themselves inside of it leaving their legs and head exposed.  As the crab grows they will replace their shell with a larger, better fitting one.  I bet the Realtor hermit crab makes a ton of money selling fancy shells to the other crabs.

So what do these little guys eat when they aren’t scavenging the bottom looking for a new home? Well, they are an omnivore so they generally feed on plankton, small fish and their favourite food, invertebrates which includes worms.  Their shell may help protect them from predators but they still have to be on the lookout for sharks, fish, squid and octopus which all enjoy feasting on hermit crabs.  It is believed that hermit crabs will try to outsmart their predators by hiding with animals such as sea anemones which act as their bodyguard.

Hermit Crab Fast Fact: The hermit crab is commonly kept as a pet since they are small and easy to take care of.  Some species of hermit crab can live as long as 30 years if they are taken care of properly.  Could you imagine having a crab for 30 years?

Well that is all for today.  Tune in tomorrow for the last fact before the long weekend.

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