Hermit crabs are decapod crustaceans of the superfamily Paguroidea . They are not closely related to true crabs. Hermit crabs are quite commonly seen in the intetidal zone: for example, in tide pools.
Most species of hermit crab have long, soft abdomens which are protected from predators by a salvaged empty seashell carried on the crab's back, into which the crab's whole body can retract. Most frequently hermit crabs utilize the shells of sea snails; the tip of the hermit crab's abdomen is adapted to clasp strongly onto the columella of the snail shell. As the hermit crab grows in size, it has to find a larger shell and abandon the previous one.
Two possible etymologies exist for the name of "hermit crab." One is that their habit of living in a second hand shell gave rise to the name, which is analagous to a hermit living alone in a small cave. The second is that it is a translation of the scientific name of the Caribbean hermit, Coenobita clypeatus, which translates as "shield-bearing monk"; this species is one of a few known to climb trees.
Hermit crab are really unique; therefore there are lots of interesting facts about them. For instance, did you know that some crabs abandon their shells and live without them? Or that crab sizes vary from a few millimeters to giants whom size can be compared to coconuts?
At first, these crabs were thought to live quite short lives in captivity. But, over the years, this has changed. People learned to take proper care of them. Today, if the crab has been cared for properly, it can live for up to thirty years.
Did you know why hermit crab can't reproduce in captivity? That is so because hermit crabs deposit their eggs to the sea. That is why they are only able to reproduce in captivity if there is a simulated shoreline.
There are two most common types of hermit crabs grown in home as pets. The Ecuadorian and the Caribbean crab.
Ever noticed that your crabs don't move a lot in daylight? That is because they are more active at night.
Even though it might sound a bit weird, but a hermit crab would drown if left under water for too long.
Do crabs make noises, communicate? That might be true, scientists are studying the croaking noises hermit crabs make, it might be their way of communicating.
Hermit crabs do not live alone; they are usually in colonies of 100 crabs and more.
Beware of the claws of purple crabs; they can even break a pencil in two!
Hermit crabs drink by dipping their claw in water and putting the drops on the claw to their gills or mouth.
There are over five hundred hermit crab species know today. The ones that can be grown as pets in homes are terrestrial (living mostly on land).