They’re hermit by name, but not entirely by nature. Hermit crabs have a mutually beneficial relationship with anemones who hitch a ride on the crab’s shell.
With their stinging tentacles, anemones shield hermit crabs from octopuses, while also eating the crumbs left behind from hermit crab meals.
When the hermit crab grows and its snail shell property is no longer so roomy, it moves to another shell, peeling the anemones away with it.
The video below follows a hermit crab as it transfers shells. It captures fascinating footage of the crab gently pulling the anemones away from the first shell, and coaxing it into attaching to the next.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.