hermit crab in seashell

Hermit Crabs in the Wild

Hermit Crab
Image by goingslo via Flickr

My kids had hermit crabs as pets at one time.  They lived in a little box and we provided various size shells for them to change into as they grew.  (Hermit crabs live in the empty shells of mollusks.)

We fed them peanut butter and provided water in a little shell for them to drink.  They would molt as they grew and we considered ourselves lucky to be present when they actually came out of the shell to scoot into a larger one.

They didn’t live very long and that was due to the fact that we didn’t really know what they needed to survive.  Back then, I admit to being ignorant of keeping wild animals as pets.  These days, I would have explained to my daughter that these animals belong in the wild.

When we got our pontoon boat, our family would cruise up and down the Intracoastal along the  Indian River and stop at various little islands to explore and fish.

One of the islands we visited regularly was an island which I named “Broken Palm Island”.  We noticed there were many very tiny hermit crabs roaming the beach there.  I have a picture some place of my son with a little hermit crab crawling on his foot.

The kids thought it was awesome to find so many little crabs living in the wild as they were meant to.    No one had to provide empty shells for these guys, they were finding plenty on the sandy shore.

Since this time, I’ve been out to the backwater areas and have discovered there are many more types of hermit crabs – and they are everywhere!  I’ve even found a Giant Red hermit crab, which is rare for the area where I travel.

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