Saturday, 4 April 2015

Day 152 - Cracking Crabs (Hermit that is)

The shell in the centre was moving around
Hi all today's Day 152 and I have a lovely creature that I hardly ever get to see. As you may know, quite a while ago I was at the beach in Northumberland and I went rock-pooling. This was an amazing place to go rock-pooling as there was so many things there. In one pool we saw quite a lot of things one of which was the amazing Hermit Crab. At first I just saw shells moving around but they looked a bit quick to be snails or whelks. After a while I noticed little legs sticking out and I realised they had a little beastie in side. I had a great time watching them, you can see them best in the mini video I took.

They were fascinating to watch and I hope to see one again very soon. I had to find out more about them, so here are the facts:

  • If there are quite a lot of Hermit Crabs in an area then one empty shell can create a 'property rush' where the biggest crab goes into the empty shell while it drops its previous shell. The next biggest takes that shell and so it continues.
    Hermit Crab
    - you can just see its legs sticking out here
  • Occasionally a Hermit Crab decides it wants a fellow crab's shell in which case a shell battle will occur which is something YOU can help with by intervening.
  • You can do this by looking for the crab that doesn't have a shell (the one that started the fight) and moving him to somewhere where there is a variety of shells.
  • There is some controversy as to how many species of Hermit Crab there is in The World. The sites that I found said between 500 and 1,000.
  • They are Omnivores meaning they will eat both plants and meat. 
  • Hermit Crabs can be all manner of sizes. The Ecuadoran Hermit Crab is only half an inch long but the Coconut Crab is 16 inches long!

  • The average lifespan of a Hermit Crab is from 5 years to 15 years. They can live up to 25 years but it's uncommon. One has been recorded to live for 40 years in captivity!
  • The main reason for a Hermit Crab having a shell is to protect its soft abdomen. But it is also used to breathe and to hydrate their gills. Yes that's right Hermit Crabs have gills and need humid air to breathe.
  • While they are called Hermit crabs, due to their hiding away in shells, they are not solitary creatures. They like to gather together, climb over each other and sleep in piles.
  • Hermit crabs are nocturnal but it looks like somebody forgot to tell the ones at Cresswell Foreshore!
So, here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,



  1. Lovely post! I love Hermit Crabs, they're so interesting! - Tasha

  2. Those coconut crabs are frightening looking things!

  3. Thanks Tasha.

    I agree Simon, I wouldn't want a coconut crab nipping at my toes!