Pagurus bernhardus, Common hermit crab. A Right Hooker

Pagurus bernhardus, Common hermit crab. A Right Hooker - UK and Ireland : Pagurus bernhardus, Common hermit crab . Originally an ❤️iFOCUS. Now, A personal project . The hermi

Pagurus bernhardus, Common hermit crab
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Originally an ❤️iFOCUS. Now, A personal project
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The hermit crab differs from other crabs in having a long, slim body that is pliant. In his book, The Sea, John Crompton, relates how we often see the all-too-familiar hermit crab at the seaside and easily overlook its amazing ability to fit snugly and live inside an empty sea snail’s shell:
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“The rear portion of the hermit crab is soft and fashioned so that it fits into any curved shell of the right dimensions. Its front part is armoured, so that the crab is protected from both behind and in front and at a moment’s notice can retire into a fortified castle, and then, next morning, pop out and run about and hunt as actively as if it had no castle trailing along behind. Many animals find homes to hide or live in, but few acquire protective homes that they then carry about with them.”
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When the crab grows and, like other crustaceans, moults, it will be too large for the shell and it must find another. Without the shell to protect it, the crab is extremely vulnerable to predation and must move between shells extremely quickly.
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“In late summer the shell may be covered with a pink mat of the Colonial Hydroid, Hydractinia echinata, which is found only on shells occupied by hermit crabs.” (Collins. Seashore of Britain and Europe.) The Ragworm Nereis fucata sometimes lives inside the shell with the crab.
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The crab is a hunter and scavenger, feeding on anything it can find, and will convey food to its mouth with its first pair of walking legs.
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Identification features
Largest UK hermit crab
right claw is bigger than the left
pointed rostrum.
See: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1169
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For comparison
Diogenes pugilator, South claw hermit crab
left claw is bigger than the right.
See: https://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/90
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Article - Hermit crabs today
https://www.glaucus.org.uk/Hermit4.htm
14 May 2021
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