20 Hermit Crab Facts You Really Need To Know

Hermit crabs will often consume their old skin for its nutrients

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Hermit crab emerges from its shell Wikimedia Commons

Hermit crabs are fast becoming one of the most popular exotic pets due to the fact that they are easy to look after and cheap to maintain. This makes them a good choice for those looking to own something a little different. If, on the other hand, you have not heard of hermit crabs before, or you just stumbled across this website by accident, then stick around because you might learn something.

So without further ado, here are 20 fascinating hermit crab facts that you may or may not know :

•There are over 600 species of hermit crabs in the world today but only a handful are available as pets
•Hermit crabs can live as long as 15 years although the majority of them live to around 6-8 years
•Hermit crabs are not really classed as crabs due to the fact that they do not own their own shell
•The Coconut crab or Birgus Latro is the largest hermit crab in the world with a size of up to 40 cms (16″) and a weight of up to 4.1 kgs (9.0lbs)
•The shape of the shell that a baby hermit crab chooses determines the shape of its abdomen
•Hermit crabs are fussy about the type of shells that they choose and are drawn to ones with mother of pearl linings.
•As hermit crabs grow, they discard the shell that they had previously and search for a larger one
•Hermit crabs drink by dipping their claws in water and depositing the water into their gills and mouth
•One of the hermit crabs favourite past times is climbing
•Its nearest relatives are spiders and lobsters
•Hermit crabs are not fussy eaters and will eat such things as fresh fruit and vegetables as well as small amounts of meat and fish.
•The Ecuadorian land crab is one of the smallest species of hermit crab at around 12mm in length
•Of all the species of hermit crab, only a few are generally classed as land or terrestrial and even these are born in the sea or ocean
•Hermit crabs moult as they grow, which means that they shed their exoskeleton and grow a new one.
•Hermit crabs will often consume their old skin for its nutrients
•The abdomen of a hermit crab can change shape to fit the body of the shell that it is taking over. This is very good especially if the shell is of a spiral nature!
•Hermit crabs are more active at night and don’t move much during the day.
•If a land based hermit crab was left underwater for too long it would drown, even though it was born under water!
•Unlike its name, hermit crabs are truly social creatures and are unhappy being on their own.

Blue-banded Hermit Crab
Wikimedia Commons

•The Ecuadorian crab and the purple pincered hermit crab are the two main types of crab sold in pet stores across the USA today. Of these, the Purple Pincered hermit crab, tends to live far more inland than other varieties of crab and therefore do not need salt water.
Hopefully, these hermit crab facts have given you an insight into the world of these amazing little critters. They are probably some of the oldest life forms on the planet. and have survived this long because they are hardy and above all adaptable to any given situation. This is why they are probably the ideal pet for someone looking to dip their toe into the world of more unusual species.

by jessica.diamond

Source by Jerry Montgomery