March 30, 2011


Did you ever have a hermit crab as a pet? Lots of kids do. Part of the responsibility of owning a hermit crab is making sure it has a larger shell available when it outgrows the one it came in.


What you’ve probably never seen is what happens in the wild. Researchers in Belize discovered that when one crab finds a suitable empty shell, it waits until a crowd of other crabs join it. Then they climb, piggyback-style, onto each others’ shells, in a line from largest to the smallest. Once the first crab squeezes into the free shell, then the whole line follows, right down the row.


Photograph of Hermit Crab swapping shells ©

Posted by: Seymour Simon

(6) Comments  •   Labels: science news, Animals, Pets   •  Permalink (link to this article)   •  Share: