A Crabby Day

Mar, 18 2019

You often see them scuttling around the island, leaving tiny tracks where ever they go, but have you ever thought what it would be like to be a hermit crab? 

Hermits crabs are a long-lived species, sometimes reaching the age of 40 years and older. Soft bodied, they do not have their own shell. Rather, they utilise the colourful shells of dead gastropods in order to protect their delicate abdomens. As they grow larger, hermit crabs discard their little “homes” and find larger, more comfortable shells. When considering their remarkable lifespan, hermit crabs can go through quite a lot of “real estate”.

Nonetheless, it is not always easy to find the perfect home, thus all the more reason for us to be considerate and avoid collecting shells from the ocean. 

Though hermit crabs are often found by the shoreline, they can only survive for a few minutes when completely submerged. Land-dwellers, hermit crabs are nocturnal, and are usually dormant during the hottest hours of the day. Their first and only line of defense against dehydration is to stay out of the sun during the day. On some days, however, adventurous hermit crabs might brave the warmer daytime temperatures and venture out to scavenge for food. 

And contrary to what their name suggests, hermit crabs do enjoy the company of their crustacean friends!