13 March 2012


Hermit crab with anemone n shell. Credit: mirtai via Flickr.

My recent hermit crab post included a video of hermits trying on new homes, and included the the way some defend their shells with stinging anemones (above).
But I also found myself wondering what will become of hermit crabs in a world of increasing ocean acidity and dwindling seashells? (You can read more about that in my latest article in OnEarth magazine.)

In the above image you can see the fate of a shell dissolving over 45 days in acidified water. 
Now via Discover Magazine I see this interesting photo (below) of a nude hermit crab donning an anemone: 

Greg Rouse and colleagues found this critter during an expedition off the coast of Costa Rica in 2010. The area is lacking in large snail shells, says Dr. Rouse, and there has been a previous report of this species, Parapagurus foraminosus, covered by an anemone.
Credit: Greg Rouse, Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.
Crabs—survivors since at least the early Jurassic—are crafty!
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