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Hermit crabs

There are many species of hermit crabs in Australia. Smaller species can be found in rockpools. They are different to normal crabs and have a soft abdomen that is protected inside a snail’s shell. As they grow they abandon their old shell and find an empty shell of a suitable size and shape. The end of the abdomen hooks over and grasps onto the inside of their shell.

Hermit crabs eat dead and decaying material.  

Some species have an enlarged right claw, other species a large left claw and in the rest the claws are of equal size. Their eyes are on stalks and they can peek out when they are hidden in their shell. When they grow too large for their shell they need to find a new one. They slowly crawl around with their shell protecting them. With any small movement, they quickly retreat deeper into their shell.

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