Hermit Crabs, The Home Swapping Club

Hermit crabs are crustaceans that scavenge and inhabit the shells of molluscs, most often sea snails. Their abdomen is soft and exposed to predators.

As the crab grows in size, it must find a larger shell to inhabit. Sometimes hermit crabs will compete for a desired shell. If a shell is too large for an individual hermit crab, it will wait until other hermit crabs find the large shell. Eventually, a queue of hermit crabs will form. When a crab with the right size for the shell arrives, it will leave its former shell and move to the new one – with sequential exchange of shells in the queue, each crab moving to the next larger new home. Similar to living in London…

A hermit crab carries the shell of a sea snail.
A hermit crab carries the shell of a sea snail.
Hermit crab.
Hermit crab.
Hermit crab.
Hermit crab.