Hermit Crab Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Thomas Philip
In this lesson, you will learn about the hermit crab. You will learn about what they look like, what they eat, their predators, and how to care for them as pets.

What is a Hermit Crab?

In this lesson, you will learn about a popular household pet, the hermit crab. There are about 500 different species or kinds of hermit crabs in the world. Hermit crabs can be as small as a half inch long or as big as 16 inches. They can be found all over the world.

Hermit Crab with shell
Crab

The hermit crab is a crustacean. This means they have a hard outer shell and belong to the same family as lobsters, shrimp, and crab. They can come in different colors such as red, brown, purple. They can also have patterns, stripes, or dots. Hermit crabs have ten jointed legs. They also have two pairs antennae. One pair they use for feeling and the other pair they use for smelling and tasting.

The hermit crab has soft spiral stomach and may remind of you of a snail's spiral body.

Soft, spiral body
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The interesting this about a hermit crab's shell is that it finds its shell from other animals. As they grow and get bigger, hermit crabs find bigger shells to use. They need these shells to protect their soft bodies and for shelter. Hermit crabs spend a lot of time on land, but they have gills like a fish. Their shells help them keep the air around their gills humid so they can breathe out of the water.

Hermit Crab Diet

Hermit crabs are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and animals. Hermit crabs are not picky eaters! They eat insects, worms, small fish, and plankton. They drink water by dipping their claws into the water and lifting out small drops. In the wild, hermit crabs have a lot of predators. Since the hermit crabs are generally small, they are hunted by fish, sharks, squid, and octopus.

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