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Hermits

I ended up not going to the SCA event yesterday.  Things got hectic in the morning in getting everyone and everything together and I said I'd go later in the second car, but an end-of-summer cold and severe lack of sleep and the amount of rain made me keep putting it off till I decided not to go at all.  There were some classes I'd wanted to take, and I always look forward to commedia performances, but... oh well.

I did go out once during the day, to a pet store to see what could be found to help the hermit crabs.  My two kids each bought two of the things this summer, early June, when we were at Old Orchard Beach.  They ended up in the same habitat because it turns out that "hermit" crabs are actually very social and prefer living in large groups. (Helpful for them: there's a chain effect when one crab moved to a larger shell, then another smaller crab picks up the discarded one as its new home, etc.)  The habitat had some sand and aquarium type gravel, maybe an inch deep.  On-line research said that wasn't appropriate, and not sufficient depth if the crabs needed to moult, so I picked up the recommended fibrous mulch and more sand (some of it calcium-digestible), and also a half-round hollowed log for climbing & hiding, and more types of foods, and a water-conditioning spray/mist bottle.

Random hermit crab "facts" (Unverified, i.e. Wikipedia):

Hermit crabs have been using gastropod shells since the Late Cretaceous.  Before then, at least some used ammonite shells (apparently, a fossil record exists).

The coconut crab, the world's largest living arthropod, is a hermit crab, but one that uses a borrowed shell only when very young.

During moulting, a hermit crab can regenerate lost claws or limbs.

Hermit crabs were once thought to be "throw-away" pets, that would live only a few months in captivity.  Now that people know more about the needs, some species can live 20-30 years.

Oh joy. :-)
  

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Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
celtile
Sep. 13th, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)

Riddex will take care of them....
cimeara
Sep. 15th, 2009 04:05 pm (UTC)
Silly goose. If we can keep them alive, so they get bigger... did you know that king crabs are also a close relative of hermit crabs? ^_^
celtile
Sep. 15th, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)

The ones I had must have been King Crabs...
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )