Hermit Crab Facts

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Hermit crabs are invertebrates that do not grow inside their shells, but rather use shells as defense and temporary homes. Discover facts about hermit crabs with information from a published biologist in this free video on invertebrates.

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Video Transcript

So, these are land hermit crabs, and they're of the genus coenobita, and we actually have two different species here. Their common name; this one with the real beautiful purple is known as an Ecuadorian, and it's from the coasts of Ecuador, and then this one here is known as the purple pincer. You can see that its main defense claw is very purple, and so it is known as the purple pincer. And hermit, land hermit crabs are found along the you know, beaches and coastal regions of the Caribbean, all through Central and South America, and also in the southern and western parts of the United States. They are an invertebrate that does not actually grow inside its shell like other crabs, and so these shells are their temporary homes, and serve as their homes and also as their defense against predators. And when they, as they grow and molt they will seek out new shells, and sometimes even fight quite fiercely with other crabs for the kind of perfect home that will fit their body and keep them protected. They eat a variety of foods. They eat all sorts of fruits that you can find near the beaches or in, you know, upland from the beaches where they live. They also eat dead and dying fish on the beach, other types of invertebrates that wash up on the shore, so they're really generalists in that way. They are excellent climbers, and during the day are often found in the trees, kind of quietly roosting; oop, it's showing you its wonderful behavior of when it's alarmed it will pull into that shell for protection. And so, they'll often stay in the trees during the day and then at night when they hunt they come down to the beach and kind of walk around looking for food. They mate in the water, so they are, they need the water for mating and for reproduction; where they do their mass spawning. Though many people think of them only living you know a couple of years, certainly as pets, they they are capable of living over twenty five years if well taken care for in captivity, and which many crustaceans have quite long life spans.


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