Hermit Crabs, Willie Creek, Broome WA

There are about 1100 types of hermit crabs around the world. Most live in the sea.

Without the shell, hermit crabs look more like a lobster. The back of their body is soft, long and curled. It is not round and flat like a crab. The body of the hermit crab needs protection, so these animals find an empty snail shell to live in. As the hermit crab grows it will replace the shell with a larger one. Some hermit crabs are very picky about what shell they will live in. Hermit crabs use six of their legs to walk and crawl. They don’t swim. Some hermit crabs live along rocky shores and hide under rocks when the tide is out. Some can venture on land, but most live in the sea. They like to feed at night. The hermit crab in the poster lives in deeper water.   As they walk about they pick around looking and feeling for food. They will eat plants, small animals or anything that has died.   They lay lots of eggs. Some types of hermit crabs look after their eggs and the hatchlings for the first two weeks. The small hatchlings will spend their first months floating in the water.

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