Tarpon Bay Explorers – red hermit crab

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A red hermit crab has inhabited a very large horse conch shell in the touch tank at Tarpon Bay Explorers, Sanibel Island, Florida. The naturalist on duty at the time told us that the crab had recently molted …..

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Here’s the exoskeleton of the red hermit crab – nope, he’s not in there! That’s just his old skin. I think it’s remarkable that it comes off all in one piece like that, right down to the claws. I did a little reading about molting hermit crabs, and discovered that while or directly after molting, a hermit crab can appear to be limp and lifeless. It’s apparently pretty easy to believe they are actually dead, when they are just molting. Many times they will dig down into the sand and do it underground, but they can also do their molting on the surface. How lucky the naturalists at Tarpon Bay Explorers were – they got to see it happening!

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12 thoughts on “Tarpon Bay Explorers – red hermit crab”

  1. Great photos of the “shell”…and wonderful information. I don’t think I’ll find too many here in Minnesota.

  2. That crab is huge !!

    Friends have hermit crabs in their aquarium, but they are tiny compared to this fellow !

    Great post ๐Ÿ™‚

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