Perhaps you want to learn some of the most interesting hermit crab facts for kids. Hermit crabs (Paguroidea) belong to the order of crustaceans called Decapoda, which literally means ‘ten-footed’. There are almost 1100 species of a hermit crab. Porcelain crabs and squat lobsters are relatives of these crabs. They are divided into two groups: marine hermit crabs and land hermit crabs.
Hermit Crab Facts for Kids
Description: They have yellow, green, brown and red colors. The abdomens of a hermit crab are long, soft and spirally curved. Hermit crab can retract its whole body into an empty seashell. These sea shells are often scavenged shells of dead animals. The shells of sea snails are fairly common but hermit crab also uses shells of wood and scaphopods.
Size & Weight: The shape and size varies, but they can reach the size of a coconut. Normally, the size ranges from 2 to 10 centimeters and weighs around 200 to 500 grams. The coconut crab is a land hermit crab and it is the world’s largest terrestrial arthropod. As its size increases, a hermit crab needs larger well-fitting shells because it can no longer grow increasingly on smaller ones.
Lifespan: The lifespan of these crabs can range from 12 to 70 years. However, the average lifespan is up to 10 years.
Reproduction: On average, hermit crabs have litter size of up to 200 eggs.
Habitat: Marine hermit crabs live mostly in water and breathe with the help of gills. They inhabit saline deep-water as well as shallow reefs. They cannot survive on land for far too long.
Behavior: Land hermit crabs are terrestrial species and live mostly on land. However, they also need to soak their gills in water to survive.
Diet: They are omnivorous creatures and like to feed mainly on small organisms like plankton, fish, worms and other invertebrates.
Predators: They have a lot of natural predators like cuttlefish, octopus, sharks and squid.