Today I wanted to spotlight the elusive and amazing: HERMIT CRAB! I see hermit crabs on the daily here in Puerto Rico, so I decided to learn a little bit more about them. Often times at work, we get these little critters crawling right into our front office! I do get a kick out of it every time it happens…maybe they just fancy a new rash-guard or hat we have on display in our store 😛
Some people I have encountered in the past, don’t know that hermit crabs do not produce their own shell. They are considered part of the recyclers in the ecosystem, since they re-use old snail shells to serve as their shelter. In this post, I just wanted to highlight some fun facts about hermit crabs that you might not know 🙂 Enjoy!
- There are over 1000 species of hermit crabs in the world.
- Hermits are social animals (even though its name begs to differ)
- Hermits are constantly growing, so they much seek out new bigger shells once they outgrow their old one
- As you’ll see in the video – hermits have a soft (kind of freaky looking) abdomen which is why it must be protected in a hard shell.
- Hermit crabs in the wild usually live to up to 5-15 years (some in captivity have been recorded for living from 25-40 years).
- These crabs don’t always grab old snail shells as homes, sometimes they will find a shelter of a can, or a bottle, or even legos (see video below).
- Hermits are omnivorous animals, pretty much little scavengers of the sea and land.
- After mating, female hermit crabs carry a large number of eggs in a mass that is attached to her abdomen. She must release the larvae into the sea to hatch, where they molt exposing an adult hermit crab body underneath.
- Hermit crabs are nocturnal – you’ll see them more active under the cover of darkness
- They breathe through gills, so they must either live near the ocean or a in very humid climate.