Hermit In Crab-Hermit Crab

Hermit In Crab-Hermit Crab
Source:  "Calliactis and Dardanus 001" by H. Zell - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Calliactis_and_Dardanus_001.JPG#/media/File:Calliactis_and_Dardanus_001.JPG


1. It’s scientific name is Pagurus Bernhardus. It doesn’t have a group name or anything like that.

2.All crabs have their skeleton on the outside. This is called an exoskeleton. It is like armour on the outside. Their muscles, heart and stomach are inside their hollow skeleton. If they have spikes on their legs, like this hermit crab, it is even more difficult for other animals to eat them.

3. A hermit crab is part of the crustacean family. However,  a hermit crab is not a true crab. It’s shell is not attached to its body like other crabs.

4.There are about 1100 types of hermit crabs around the world. Most live in the sea. Hermits are people who live by themselves. Although these crabs are called “hermits,” they really don’t live alone. In fact, hermit crabs often gather in large numbers. This is especially true when they need to shed their old shells. Sometimes a group of crabs will find a new shell they all want to use as their new homes. They line up according to size. As one crab moves to a larger shell, the next one in line gets a chance to move in to the shell that was discarded. This process continues down the line until each crab has a new shell. 

5.Hermit crabs have gills hidden under their body where the legs join. The gills get the oxygen from the seawater. They have ten legs. The first two legs have powerful pinchers. Only six legs including the pinchers can be seen poking out of the shell. They have four feelers also called antennae on their head. Their two eyes are at the end of stalks.

6.Hermit crabs use six of their legs to walk and crawl. They don’t swim. Some hermit crabs live along rocky shores and hide under rocks when the tide is out. Some can venture on land, but most live in the sea. They like to feed at night. The hermit crab in the poster lives in deeper water.
7. A hermit crab must borrow a discarded shell from another animal.  Hermit crabs usually scavenge a shell from a mollusk snail.  

8. Hermit crabs can live on land or in the water.  

9. There are over 500 species of hermit crabs, found all over the world.  Ocean hermit crabs are found off the coast of Europe, North and South America, and Australia. Land hermit crabs are found in warm places like the Caribbean, Florida, and Australia.

10. A hermit crab has four sets of jointed legs and one set of pincers. 

11. The claws or pincers are used for eating, climbing and defending itself against predators.

12. The first two sets of legs are used for walking and finding food.  The back set of legs are used to hold the hermit crab inside its’ shell.

13. Hermit crabs can be many sizes.  If you look closely you may find one while playing on the beach.  A coconut hermit crab can grow to gigantic proportions!A hermit crab has antennae and two large eyes that protrude from stalks.  These eyes help the crab stay alert for predators and find food.

14. Hermit crabs will eat the exoskeleton that they shed to get extra calcium to help grow a new one.

15. Hermit crabs lay 800-1200 eggs at one time. Also,they definitely do not reproduce asexually.

16. Female hermit crabs keep the eggs inside their shells until they are big enough. When they are ready, she releases them into the ocean. They hatch into a zoea larva. It grows by molting and then growing into a new exoskeleton. The claws and antennae develop during this time. 

17. After one more molt it becomes a hermit crab. Now it is ready to find a shell to keep it safe. 

18. Every time the hermit crab grows, its exoskeleton doesn't so it needs to molt and grow a new one. It then needs to find a new shell to live in that fits. Some hermit crabs only live for 2-3 months but they can live up to 15-20 years.
19. Hermit crabs eat both animals and plants. For example: mussels, small plankton and worms. They also are called scavengers because they will eat dead plants and animals.

20. Hermit crabs pick its food off the bottom of the ocean with its claws. If the food is too big, it rips it into pieces with its claws. They drink by dipping their claws into water and putting it into the gills or mouth.

21. A hermit crab carries its home where ever it goes.  When it travels it doesn’t even need to pack.  Sea anemones often attach to hermit crabs.  The anemone provides camouflage for the crab, while the crab provides food for the anemone.

22. A hermit crab’s enemies are sea birds, fish, octopi, crabs, and other hermit crabs.

23. The crab fights off other crabs with its claws. Their main defense is to crawl back into their shell and they use their claws to block the entrance.

24. A hermit crab has a special ability!  When a predator attacks, a hermit crab will detach a leg or pincer to escape.  The hermit will grow a replacement leg fairly quickly.

25. Hermit crabs are usually nocturnal. That means they move around more at night than during the day. Hermit crabs have been heard making croaking sounds. Scientists are still trying to find out what they mean. It's very hard to tell if a hermit crab is a boy or a girl.

26. Hermit crabs make great low maintenance pets! They are also very entertaining animals; they can climb, dig, and even hold on to your shirt with their claws as you walk.

27. Hermit Crabs love to climb on things. They are also used to being by water. They also like to go in their shell a lot. 

28. They are usually in large groups. Most of the time in hundreds. 

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