The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Have You Ever Had a Hermit Crab as a Pet? The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Have You Ever Had a Hermit Crab as a Pet?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Have You Ever Had a Hermit Crab as a Pet?


Have you ever had a hermit crab as a pet? I did…well it wasn’t exactly mine. I don’t remember where I got the idea to get my son a hermit crab. I think it was because he wanted a dog, and we were living in an apartment that did not allow dogs. He was very young maybe around 4 –5 years old.

I got the aquarium and everything all set up and showed it to him. His first response was that he took off running when he saw it move!  He came back into the room and looked at it closely and gave me that…what is that look. Then it moved again…and off running he went!

I started to let him watch it eat and he became a little more comfortable with it, however, it didn’t come out of its shell much. I didn’t realize at the time that they are nocturnal.

It’s been years…so I have no idea what happened to the hermit crab. I can assure you as an animal lover, no harm was done to it. I probably gave it away or took it back to a pet shop. We ended up eventually getting him a fish aquarium…and a dog!

Hermit refers to the fact that the crabs borrow the shell that they are in.  They have no real "home" of their own, they are hermits. As the hermit crab grows in size, it must find a larger shell.

Hermit crabs are nocturnal scavengers that will eat almost anything. They live in large groups in the wild, and do best in groups of three or more.  They wear the label “hermit” because of the shell they carry on their back that they hide in when sensing danger.

Pros
low maintenance
inexpensive
have colorful shells

Cons:
nocturnal
no bonding
not interactive

Anatomy: Hermit crabs are invertebrates, animals without a backbone. They have an exoskeleton, an outer shell that provides support for their body but does not provide much protection from predators. They vary widely in color, from red to brown to purple, with stripes, dots, and other patterns. They have ten jointed legs; the front two legs have large, grasping claws (called pincers or chelipeds) and the rear pair of legs are very small. They have a flattened body, sensory antennae, two eyes located at the ends of stalks, and a soft, twisted abdomen (which the hermit crab keeps hidden inside its shell).






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